Astronomers have for the first time discovered a planet which originated outside our galaxy. While nearly 500 exoplanets have been discovered over the last 15 years, none outside our Milky Way has been confirmed. Now, though, a planet at least one and a quarter times as massive as Jupiter has been discovered orbiting a star of extragalactic origin.
The star, however, is now within our own galaxy. It's part of the Helmi stream, a group of stars that originally belonged to a dwarf galaxy that was devoured by our galaxy about six to nine billion years ago, TG Daily reports.
One of the things that astronomers find interesting about this star system is the fact that the orbit of the exoplanet was most likely a lot more distant from the star than it is today. Astronomers hypothesize that the red giant phase is what derailed the planet from its previous orbit, bringing it so close to HIP 13044.
The initial distance is probably what allowed the exoplanet to endure, experts believe. Had it been close to the star from the get-go, it probably wouldn't have survived the red giant phase, according to Softpedia.