Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Exoplanet Discovery Hints at Earth's End

By Mike Martin

Until now, planets known to humans have never wandered into the Milky Way galaxy. However, Friday's announcement that planet HIP 13044b entered our galaxy hitched to a giant star called HIP 13044 has astronomers rethinking how -- and where -- planets form.

"This is an exciting discovery," said Max Planck Institute for Astronomy researcher Rainer Klement, who selected HIP 13044 for the study. "For the first time, astronomers have detected a planetary system of extragalactic origin."

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