Welcome back to This Is Not Rocket Science!
The universe, in case you weren’t paying attention, is really, really big. As such, there is a great deal in it that we can’t see – so much so that we are still being surprised by how far away we are finding things.
Earlier this week, scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope, orbiting the sun almost 128 million miles from Earth, found one of the furthest out ever spotted exo-planets.
The gas giant exo-planet, OGLE-2014-BLG-0124Lb, was found more than 13,000 light years away from Earth. The Spitzer telescope used a unique technique called microlensing that uses the gravity of closer stars as an extra magnification for the telescope.
“We don’t know if planets are more common in our galaxy’s central bulge or the disk of the galaxy, which is why these observations are so important,” said Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics’ Jennifer Yee.