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Possible Extra-Galactic Planet Detected

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the needle-in-a-needle-stack dept.

Space 83

Nancy Atkinson writes "Using a technique called pixel-lensing, a group of astronomers in Italy may have detected a planet orbiting another star. But this planet is unique among the 300-plus exoplanets discovered so far, as it and its parent star are in another galaxy. The Andromeda Galaxy, to be exact. Technically, the star in M31 was found to have a companion about 6 times the mass of Jupiter, so it could be either a brown dwarf or a planet. But either way, this is a remarkable feat, to find an object of that size in another galaxy."

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Another dimension (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282271)

Intergalactic Planetary, Planetary Intergalactic?

Re:Another dimension (-1, Offtopic)

keeegan (1526067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282579)

Stir fry them in your wok.

Re:Another dimension (0, Offtopic)

edalytical (671270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283389)

void wok(char *phrase1, char *phrase2) {
  strfry(phrase1);
  strfry(phrase2);
}

Re:Another dimension (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296609)

void wok(char *phrase1, char *phrase2) {
  strfry(phrase1);
  strfry(phrase2);
}

I am jealous. Jealous of the rhyme and of the rhyme routine.

Re:Another dimension (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282595)

Shit... if this is gonna be that kind of article, I'm gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.

mashed potatoes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283079)

When I was in highschool, that was the first thing I said to my girlfriend's mom. I didn't think about how dumb that was, but man was it funny.

Re:mashed potatoes (0, Offtopic)

rvw (755107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283431)

Shit... if this is gonna be that kind of article, I'm gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.

When I was in highschool, that was the first thing I said to my girlfriend's mom. I didn't think about how dumb that was, but man was it funny.

If you refered to your girlfriend as an article, the mashed potatoes must have been in your head! Man, that makes a good brain fuck!

Re:mashed potatoes (1)

laederkeps (976361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284549)

++++++++++[>+++++++>++++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>++.>+.+++++++..+++.

The junk filter isn't very kind to obscure programming languages, obviously.

Re:Another dimension (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28298799)

Shit... if this is gonna be that kind of article, I'm gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.

Fuck the Creationists!

Re:Another dimension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283859)

I wonder how many people fired up the song after reading that, because I just did.

Re:Another dimension (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284943)

If the post moderation is anything to go by, -1 people so far...

Re:Another dimension (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284987)

Whooops! Sorry, I thought GP was in reply to the "dick in the mashed potatoes" post, which obviously wasn't as appreciated as the FP. I hang my head in reply-to-self shame.

Re:Another dimension (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 5 years ago | (#28289835)

I misread one of the article tags as 'thatsnomnom' and wondered why this satelite was so delicious.

Will it help locally? (4, Interesting)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282311)

Does anyone know if this pixel-lensing technique can help in finding earth-size planets in our local galaxy?

Re:Will it help locally? (4, Informative)

Grokmoo (1180039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283127)

It is pretty unlikely to be used in the way (I think) you are thinking. The technique relies upon the use of gravitational lensing (specifically microlensing from a star). This requires that a closer star is very close to the line of sight of a more distant star. Also, the microlensing effect bends the angle of the light, and so the angular displacement depends on how far away the star doing the bending is. (If a star is very close and bending light, the light will not have gone very far from where it would be otherwise by the time it reaches us). I hope that made sense

Anyway, because of these reasons, this technique is unlikely to be useful in analyzing stars within our own galaxy, and certainly is useless for stars within a few hundred light years, where all the other exoplanets have been found.

Re:Will it help locally? (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28290703)

and certainly is useless for stars within a few hundred light years, where all the other exoplanets have been found.

Huh? You think we have found all the (other?) exoplanets within a few hundred lightyears? What do you base this assumption on?

Re:Will it help locally? (1)

Grokmoo (1180039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28292003)

Sorry, I can see how one could easily read what I wrote to mean something other than what I meant.

We have certainly not found all exoplanets within a few hundred light years. However, this technique is useless for distances that short. So, it will not help us in finding any additional planets within that distance.

The reason this is important is because within that distance is where we are going to detect our first Earth like exo planet.

Re:Will it help locally? (1)

blankaBrew (1000609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283189)

pixel-lensing? Do they have this in a Canon EF mount?

Re:Will it help locally? (2, Informative)

Xmastrspy (1170381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285099)

RTFM?

"Pixel-lensing, or gravitational microlensing was developed to look for MAssive Compact Halo Objects MACHOs in the galactic halo of the Milky Way. Because light rays are bent when they pass close to a massive object, the gravity of a nearby star focuses the light from a distant star towards Earth. This method is sensitive to finding planets in our own galaxy, ranging is sizes from Jupiter-like planets to Earth-sized ones."

So yes...

Face It (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282317)

Linux sucks and so do you.

I get it but... (0, Flamebait)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282319)

I understand the value of searching for other planets but seriously in another galaxy? WTF? Does relavancy matter? Look for stuff in the Milky Way at least, we'll NEVER get there unless we figure out FTL and even finding intelligent life in another galaxy sending a message to another galaxy is so impractical that dozens of generations would pass before getting a response and then responding to that you'd pass a dozen more generations.

Our nearest star at least is what, 4 light years away? I mean, there is a neato factor to this but how much labor went into this rather then finding a solid gold meteor we could mine more 'immediate' research topics.

"One must master one-self before one can master others."

Lets get a good mastery of our own solar system before we go running off looking up Andromeda's skirt!

Re:I get it but... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282429)

It's science, not scouting out new planets to live on. This discovery would support the idea that planets can be found around stars in other galaxies. Specifically, it supports the Cosmological Principle, that there's nothing particularly special about our corner of the universe. It might seem like it is obvious that there are planets everywhere in the universe, but that is hardly a given. It's about removing assumptions from our models and getting down to actual facts.

Re:I get it but... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282469)

Apologies for the double post, make that the Copernican/Mediocrity principle rather than the Cosmological principle.

Re:I get it but... (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282815)

I get it but you could just as easily validate that looking at the far end of the Milky Way too.

Re:I get it but... (1)

niklask (1073774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283157)

I get it but you could just as easily validate that looking at the far end of the Milky Way too.

No, as that still doesn't rule out the option of the Galaxy being special.

Re:I get it but... (1, Interesting)

Ozric (30691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284147)

It's about removing assumptions from our models and getting down to actual facts.

BIZZZZZIT.... wrong.......

Our standard model is just in and of itself an assumption... ... We really know very little and assume a great deal about everything. Anyone who tells you otherwise knows even less.

Re:I get it but... (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284531)

How is that a contradiction? Just because we aren't there yet, and in principle will never get there, doesn't mean it isn't a direction worth going.

Re:I get it but... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286641)

BIZZZZZIT.... wrong.......

BUUUUUZZZZZZZ WRONG MAROOOOON

Our standard model is just in and of itself an assumption... ... We really know very little and assume a great deal about everything. Anyone who tells you otherwise knows even less.

Assumption... backed with as much raw data as just about any theory in history. And more importantly, we're constantly trying to find more facts to either reinforce or disprove (and subsequently improve) our model, and removing assumptions, like the assumption that space and the laws of physics are basically the same everywhere. Which is why you are BUZZZZZZ WRONG AND A MORON BECAUSE THE GP WAS EXACTLY CORRECT IDIOT-TARD.

Sorry for that, but I really hate the "BZZZT! WRONG!" thing, especially when it's based on not even coming close to being right because you didn't even understand what was said.

Re:I get it but... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#28290603)

"Our standard model is just in and of itself an assumption"

I didn't know assumptions could make accurate predictions, OTOH if I assume you don't know what you're talking about....

Re:I get it but... (3, Insightful)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28291253)

I always love the irony-meter overload of someone disputing the validity of the standard model via the medium of a computer, which is composed of transistors, which rely totally on the standard model being valid. I imagine irony-meters also contain transistors.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293513)

And Iron!

Re:I get it but... (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282549)

Milky Way != one self.
Research != looking for places to have picnics on
You = shallow.

Re:I get it but... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282903)

I understand the value of searching for other planets but seriously in another galaxy? WTF? Does relavancy matter?

there's an old saw about how if we were going to find extraterrestrial life that it would have found us already. it's total bullshit because we know fuck-all about anything outside of our solar system. The more we know about what's out there the better guesses we can make, which tells us where to look for the next piece of information.

Knowing something about the rate of occurrence of planets orbiting stars in other galaxies will help us confirm or deny other theories.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28288583)

"...we know fuck-all about anything outside of our solar system."

That's not true at all. We know a lot via spectroscopic measurements of a multitude of phenomena in other galaxies. The most important being the apparent space-time invariance of the laws of physics, and all that follows from that.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282917)

before we go running off looking up Andromeda's skirt!

I'd rather look up Andromeda's skirt, she was pretty hot for a ship.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282923)

RTFA, it says that gravitational microlensing works better the farther is the object.

Re:I get it but... (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283069)

Are you familiar with the difference between basic research vs applied research? You cannot possibly know the benefits this research will lead to. Basic research answers questions that you didn't even know enough about to understand why you would want to ask.

That said, true basic research is an idealistic notion. Research always has to have at least a tenuous connection to reality and things that may prove beneficial in the applied realm. This certainly fits that bill, though. Your threshold for applicability is too high and would stunt our scientific growth.

Re:I get it but... (3, Insightful)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283135)

lol. Nice grumpy old man post but you forgot the "when I was young" part.

Re:I get it but... (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28292481)

"When I was young science focused on the betterment of human life on Earth, not wasting tax payer money staring at galaxies far far away." :)

The whole point is we have a whole Milky Way to work with, putzing around Andromeda and other galaxies seems pretty low on the totem pole when public money is involved.

Re:I get it but... (1)

jmizrahi (1409493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283287)

Science is done for science's sake. You would be hard pressed to find any discovery in the field of astronomy which has led to a practical discovery (I won't say there is none, because I'm sure someone can come up with an example.) Who cares about the atmosphere of Venus, or the structure of the Sun? The point is, we do science for its own sake, and when it leads to a discovery, that's nice, but hardly the goal.

Re:I get it but... (4, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283973)

Science is done for science's sake. You would be hard pressed to find any discovery in the field of astronomy which has led to a practical discovery (I won't say there is none, because I'm sure someone can come up with an example.) Who cares about the atmosphere of Venus, or the structure of the Sun? The point is, we do science for its own sake, and when it leads to a discovery, that's nice, but hardly the goal.

You speak way too soon. Humans are Macguyvers when it comes to science. You think astronomers spot a supernova and watch it supernove just for the hell of it? They use the things to test relativity, predict temperatures, build physics theories, and attempt to determine chemical makeup and elemental behaviors in such environments and all this from something that would never seem to affect us. These studies can lead to technological and medical breakthroughs here at home. It could give us a new fusion or propulsion technology, new branches to explore in math, better lasers, who knows? I challenge you to find ANY scientific finding [read: not philosophic] that humans have had no use for within 10 years of its discovery. We use every scrap of knowledge because we, as a species, have managed to create 100 problems for every discovery that will ever be made. We were born, as a species, a sentient life on a planet without libraries. Even according to the biblical religions, we were told that "by the sweat of our brow will we eat our bread" and so we began sweating. If there's knowledge to be found in this universe from the perspective of our world, we are the ones who have to do it. So it goes.

Our thirst for knowledge, however, is overdriven by our penchance for environmental mischief, and even life-benefitting discoveries cause problems on their own. Consider healthcare. We've ballooned our ability to rehabilitate a dying human so we can practically all live 100 years, but at costs greater than we, as an entire society, can truly afford for the rising number of those who rely on this technology. Where will the solution(s) to the cost issue come from? The mathmatics of economics will help. Chemistry and Biology must also come into play, somehow, to make healthcare cheaper. Will astronomy? Its runoff understandings of chemistry, physics, and the computers we've built using the mathmatics and technology we've learned to explore the stars will all come forward. To think that the only people who make scientific discoveries are those who seek science as a hobby is naive. Discovery is almost always made in seeking the answer to a problem, a question, or a mistake. Anyone who tells you that science for science's sake is a productive is either trying to get money from you without showing results or is buying into the lottery.

If I had a mod point... (1)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285695)

...I would mod you up Insightful.

Re:If I had a mod point... (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286111)

...I would mod you up Insightful.

Thanks. After posting, I realized was completely wrong about one thing. I said that mankind was born on a world without libraries, which is the opposite of the truth. The universe is full of everything we'll ever need to know. It would be more accurate to say we were born into a library, filled with books, new and old, written in a thousand languages, whose translations all link one to another, and science is our attempt to read them.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283679)

my idea is parallel velocity addition. this is the only viable way!

let me start with some philosophical discussion. well, i'll be modest and say it's not philosophical per se. Let's say ftl must exist on a need basis. what need would that be? well, for a universe to be considered whole, it needs a mean of communication, i think. think how all parts of your body need to link to each other via electrical signal. if the link is severed, the part is not considered belonging to the body.

we'll ask what secret method of comm does the universe use? I'll say ftl.

once we get the 'philosophical' basis down, the poor graduate students will figure out the technical details.

Re:I get it but... (3, Informative)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284077)

Look for stuff in the Milky Way at least, we'll NEVER get there unless we figure out FTL and even finding intelligent life in another galaxy sending a message to another galaxy is so impractical that dozens of generations would pass before getting a response and then responding to that you'd pass a dozen more generations.

Space is so huge that even those who realize this are off relatively often. It would take a hundred thousand generation or 10-15 times the age of our species to get a message to M31. A dozen generations would correspond to maybe 300-400 light years, about 1 percent of the distance to the centre of our own galaxy.

Re:I get it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28284783)

Have you discovered a planet? Have you even looked through a telescope in the past week? Month? Year?

You are free to search the Milky Way yourself, but don't try to tell others what to do, asshole.

Re:I get it but... (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286399)

Lets get a good mastery of our own solar system before we go running off looking up Andromeda's skirt!

Sorry to feed the trolls, but...

So in your world, how do you plan on learning anything about our solar system if you refuse to compare it to, well, ANYTHING else in the universe? By that logic, you could claim life is everywhere in the universe, as it exists in every solar system you looked at so far (1 of 1)

Seriously, if you want any say-so on what science gets done, then you best get your ass out there and start doing some science! Till then you have less than zero rights to complain what others are doing with their time.

We have learned more about solar systems from looking at both, ours and the others, than you personally ever will hope to learn or know.. so i really don't see what justifications you have for your complaint.

If you want something specific to be done, its no ones fault but your own that it isn't being done. Get out there and do it already!

Re:I get it but... (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293435)

The point is with over 1 billion stars in our own GALAXY I find the need to look in a neighboring galaxy moot. We can look at well over a billion stars in this galaxy to study our own solar system. Why the next galaxy?

Re:I get it but... (1)

Hynee (774168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28291479)

Does relavancy matter?

In short, no. Going to the moon told us a lot about Earth's geology (it provided strong evidence for the Theia theory [wikipedia.org] IIRC), studying the sun helps us with communications, especially protecting satellites, and that's about it. Studying Jupiter and Saturn means f*ck all. Anything else in Astronomy is irrelevant.

Re:I get it but... (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28292259)

Well I can see practical reasons for studying Saturn and Jupiter for climate modelling and sub-nuclear gas giants. But we also can get there and back in a lifetime. Studying gas giants 500 light years away I see little value beyond "Science for Science's sake."

Re:I get it but... (1)

Hynee (774168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297693)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess you don't mean "practical use" in strictest sense, but mean Studying extragalactic planets won't tell you anything new about planets OR galaxies. Practical use in the strictest sense means "will studying extragalactic planets help make U.S. cars go faster than Japanese cars?"

I'm going by common sense and your replies #28282815 and #28292481.

All I can say is that there may be billions of planets in our own galaxy, but eventually we may want to study billions of billions of planets, study the really weird ones, the ones that are as unusual as supernovae. That's one reason to study extragalactic planets. Another reason I can think of is studying the distribution of planets within galaxies--we can get a much better overall picture of other galaxies, as we have a terrible view of our own. That's a really good reason actually, the first reason might become relevant within 50 years, the second within 10 years.

Re:I get it but... (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297985)

Agreed on all counts, I argue that we simply are not at the point where studying the really weird ones are needed yet.

We need to re-focus our space programs on generating some real useful results. We are drifting far too much into theoretical pursuits rather then more concrete pursuits. We risk losing more and more funding from people who can't make ends meet. They want a space program and scientists to tell them there is a point to all this that will help, perhaps not them, but their children.

Mars: Lefts get up there pronto and find if there is life or not. If not let us hustle quick to get space travel inexpensive enough so we can store nuclear waste in a really deep mine shaft on Mars. Get private industry strip mining the planet for resources and reduce mining needs here on Earth. Thank kind of pursuit.

Studying Jupiter I would find is far more likely to result in insights that are more useful then studying a gas giant in the next galaxy over.

The Ivory tower is getting a tad off course in why we pursue the sciences.

I feel we are over reaching in our study of astronomy. We need to step back and get some mastery of our back yard before we can turn our attention beyond our own solar system.

I'll make you a deal, once we have a manned outpost on Pluto we can stare at far off galaxies all we want! ;) We'll be waiting at least 10-40 years at that point for out sub-light probes and rovers to reach the next nearest solar system.

that is ... umm ... great? (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282347)

But what exactly does it tell us?

That there are planets around stars in other galaxies? Ok... has that been questioned? I mean, after all, we work under the assumption that the laws of physics are the same everywhere, so, since there are planets around our star, and planets around other stars, it shouldn't be a real surprise that there are planets around stars in other galaxies.

That we can detect them? Ok, nice to know, but what do we gain from this? I'd guess it should be easier to gain insight from local (read: In this galaxy) planets rather than trying to get any information from planets that are by some magnitudes further away.

Bottom line, is this anything but a penis comparison for astronomers who can find the farthest away planet?

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (4, Informative)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282433)

I mean, after all, we work under the assumption that the laws of physics are the same everywhere,

Well, proof is proof, and being able to have that proof is much better than assuming, at least from a scientific standpoint.

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (4, Funny)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282465)

Bottom line, is this anything but a penis comparison for astronomers who can find the farthest away planet?

...and this astronomer is hung like a brown dwarf!!!1

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28288315)

Bottom line, is this anything but a penis comparison for astronomers who can find the farthest away planet?

...and this astronomer is hung like a brown dwarf!!!1

Don't be racist! :P

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282477)

It tells us that yes, our galaxy is not unique. Sure we had the assumption it wasn't, but now we may have proof. This still needs to be independently verified. But this could be a big step forwards in planet finding. If we can spot them in Andromeda, it means we aren't limited to finding them in just our local area of our own galaxy.

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282531)

Why do you have to be such a downer?

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282551)

Bottom line, is this anything but a penis comparison for astronomers who can find the farthest away planet?

Between that comment and this one:

Lets get a good mastery of our own solar system before we go running off looking up Andromeda's skirt!

I'm wondering just precisely what topic we are discussing here...

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283913)

You said it yourself - we work under the *assumption* that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. It's nice to be able to test to make sure our assumptions are true, or at least not obviously false. And massive amounts of progress are usually made when we find out our assumptions are wrong rather than when we just confirm they're right, so we *should* always test the things we're assuming (but haven't really demonstrated) to be true.

As to what we gain, we gain better instruments and more tools in our toolbox for studying the universe, and a tool that might be useful in other unexpected ways down the line. In another slashdot story today, a drug that was once going to be used to treat ulcers might now prove to be a very good medication for leukemia treatment. The scientist decided to test 2500 compounds on stem-cells and see if anything interesting happened and lo, it did. The scientists in this story decided to try out a new technique and demonstrated that they could find a (relatively) tiny object far, far away. I'm no astronomer, but I'd say that technique will likely have other applications.

Intellectual curiosity is not a bad thing, and can lead to amazing stuff.

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284277)

Shhhhhh. We're looking for a place to send politicians.

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28288681)

Reminds me of the old joke from GDR times. "Comrades! The Russians are on the moon!" (hopeful guy in the back) "Really? All of them?"

Re:that is ... umm ... great? (2, Interesting)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286463)

Many thousands of years ago the first planets other than Earth were first recognized, and only hundreds of years ago were they seen for what they are. It was less than 15 years ago that the first extra-solar planet was discovered. That didn't tell us much by itself either--but it was the first. Likewise, this is the first outside of our galaxy.

NOT extra-galactic (2, Insightful)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282495)

I was fooled by the bad title. Surely 'extra-galactic' means outside a galaxy...I envisaged a planet just floating around in inter-galactic space which would have been really interesting. This one IS in a galaxy, just not ours.

Re:NOT extra-galactic (5, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282583)

So it's not an extra-marital affair if your lover is also married? ;)

Re:NOT extra-galactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28286761)

... and with the weekend coming, remember kids, blowjobs don't count.

Re:NOT extra-galactic (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282641)

:) Playing with words, you can find several meanings for extra galactic... for example you could say that extra means more... a planet more galactic than others... how can a planet be more galactic than others? is it a planet with attitude, like earth, fostering life? or is it a planet taking up all the galaxy.

Extra Terrestrial Beings = Beings out of this planet... but it does not mean they have no planet of origin (and in fact nothing is to stop them in theory call it earth/ terra too) :)

Re:NOT extra-galactic (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285457)

That's what I thought too, but more like SPACE: 1999 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:NOT extra-galactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28285795)

Part of the definition of a planet is that it orbits a star and is not itself a star.

So something "floating around in inter-galactic space" could never be a planet.

Re:NOT extra-galactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28286693)

No, extragalactic is a specific term that means outside of OUR galaxy, not outside of any galaxy.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extragalactic [merriam-webster.com]
http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/extragalactic.html [msn.com]
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/extragalactic [thefreedictionary.com]
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/extragalactic [reference.com]
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/extragalactic [wiktionary.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extragalactic_astronomy [wikipedia.org]

Algol (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282537)

They must have found the Algol solar system! That planet must be either Palma, Motavia or Dezoris.

Must be Skyron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282671)

Get your spoons ready and leave room for dessert.

That's no planet! (4, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282803)

It's a Space Station!

Re:That's no planet! (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285817)

No, it's no space station either! It's a moon!

Re:That's no planet! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28287153)

Man, how cool would finding some derelict space station be?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... (1)

Ardipithecus (985280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282965)

Andromeda is pretty far away, and anything we see happened a long time ago... bingo!

They found the Star Wars locale. If they can refine their work they could get a picture of the real Yoda.

Re:A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... (2, Informative)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284961)

On galactic scales, it's actually the closest spiral galaxy... of course, dont plan to picnic there anytime soon :)

Re:A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... (2, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285897)

M31 and the Milky Way seem to be on a collision course.

From Wikipedia:

"The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Sun at about 300 kilometers per second (186 miles/s.), so it is one of the few blue shifted galaxies. Given the motion of the Solar System inside the Milky Way, one finds that the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are approaching one another at a speed of 100 to 140 kilometers per second (62â"87 miles/s.; 223,200â"313,200mph). The collision is predicted to occur in about 2.5 billion years. In that case the two galaxies will likely merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy.[citation needed] However, Andromeda's tangential velocity with respect to the Milky Way is only known to within about a factor of two, which creates uncertainty about the details of when the collision will take place and how it will proceed. Such events are frequent among the galaxies in galaxy groups. At least one scientist believes the collision could destroy the earth or hurl the Solar System out into inter galactic space."

Re:A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28288601)

At least one scientist believes the collision could destroy the earth or hurl the Solar System out into inter galactic space."

If that's the case, I believe I have detected a possible extra-galactic planet, it also happens to display what appear to be signs of life. When do I come to receive my Nobel prize?

Re:A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303263)

Sorry, to qualify it would need to display signs of intelligent life.

NOT IMPRESSED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283551)

"This is a remarkable feat, find an object of that size in another galaxy." It would be more of a feat to find a very small planet. I'm not impressed.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... (1)

uarch (637449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28290021)

If this keeps up, pretty soon we'll be able to watch the Star Wars trilogy unfold through a telescope!
It may have happened "a long time ago" but since it was "far far away" the speed of light may let us catch it.

Someone call me when they're able to spot the Death Star :)

I want to see the X-Wing fighters (1)

Spugglefink (1041680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296777)

Since we're seeing light from the far distant past, and the Andromeda galaxy is quite some ways out there, I fully expect that by using this pixel lensing technique to detect things a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, we should see X-Wing fighters soon. Or at least Star Destroyers, if X-Wings are too small to resolve at this distance. We've never been able to find evidence of these vehicles outside of the Historical Documents, because we had heretofore been looking only inside our own dinky galaxy. I feel quite certain we must now be poised on the cusp of making this breakthrough discovery.

This is exciting news! It's probably the most fascinating thing to hit /. since discovering that 2842 will be the year of the Linux desktop!

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