Astronomers discovered a gaseous planet which is atleast 25 percent heavier than Jupiter and 400 times heavier than Earth. The planet reportedly orbits a star that started its life in a dwarf galaxy. The planet called HIP 13044b is believed to be made up of hydrogen and helium is in a solar system that belongs to a group of stars called the Helmi Stream and is at some 2,000 light years away from Earth.
Astronomers said that between six and nine billion years ago the Helmi merged with the Milky way in an act of galactic cannibalism. Helmi is now in a southern constellation of the Milky way called the Fornax. Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in La Silla, Chile, could not detect the planet visibly because of its vast distance.
Instead they detected the planet from the tiny telltale wobbles of the star which are caused by the gravitational tug of its large orbiting companion, which the astronomers detected with a high-resolution spectrograph attached to the telescope.
Rainer Klemen from the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany said in a statement, “This discovery is very exciting. For the first time, astronomers have detected a planetary system in a stellar stream of extragalactic origin. Because of the great distances involved, there are no confirmed detections of planets in other galaxies. But this cosmic merger has brought an extragalactic planet within our reach.”
Astronomers said that the planet is orbiting a star which is approaching the end of its life and which has exhausted its hydrogen fuel and infact has also gone through a stage of massive expansion.