A group of astronomers believe they may have spotted the first planet in another galaxy, according to a study published Monday. The potential new planet was spotted in the spiral galaxy Messier 51. Discovered by researcher Charles Messier in 1773, the galaxy is also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy and is approximately 31 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici, according to NASA. "It is exciting to the find possible planets in external galaxies, which were first thought of as potentially large systems like the Milky Way and called 'Island Universes,' over 200 years ago," Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist Rosanne Di Stefano said in a statement to CBS News. "We may have assumed that these distant systems host planets, but it is of critical importance to actually find them." Andromeda is our nearest spiral galaxy neighbor at about 2.5 million light years away, and contains about 1 billion stars. It is larger but less dense than our own Milky Way. Getty Images The findings, published by seven researchers from Princeton, Harvard, the Sydney Institute for Astronomy and University of California Santa Cruz, show that researchers used a new way of looki . . . read the full article here.
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FAC: the Whirlpool Galaxy
DATE: 1773, Monday, light-years, 200 years ago, every 70 years
MONEY: about 1 billion
QUANTITY: about 2.5 million light