Scientists May Have Found The First Exomoon

An illustration shows a moon orbiting around a planet as the pair cross the face of their host star

An illustration shows a moon orbiting around a planet as the pair cross the face of their host star

Further efforts to find exomoons will likely focus on Jupiter-sized planets that orbit their stars at distances greater than the Earth orbits the Sun. Meanwhile, they encourage other researchers and astronomers to join because the course offers to understand how rare our solar system.

Although the moons in our solar system are rocky or icy objects, the newly discovered exomoon and the planet it orbits, are both gaseous, which is an unexpected pairing. These enabled astronomers to derive the masses of the planets directly from the transit light curve.

David Kipling, assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia University, said that this is such a case when such a moon was detected out of our solar system. Out of this multitude of planets, the scientists found a particular one, Kepler-1625b, presented the right conditions for holding an exomoon.

"We noticed a certain refractive index, and deviations in the light curve that caught our attention", explained KPMG.

This has helped scientists gain access to 40 hours for a space telescope Hubble. However, using the Hubble Space Telescope more recently, Teachey and his colleagues made more detailed observations, almost confirming the existence of the first exomoon ever discovered.

The researchers monitored Kepler 1625b before and during its 19-hour-long transit across the face of the star. Three-and-a-half hours later, Hubble detected a much smaller dip in the star's brightness consistent with a large moon trailing the planet. Unfortunately, the scheduled Hubble observations ended before the complete transit of the candidate moon could be measured and its existence confirmed.

Accepting that the data do indeed show evidence for an additional body co-orbiting the star with the planet Kepler-1425b, the question arises - is this really a moon?

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Astronomers have possibly discovered the first known moon outside our Solar System, using NASA's Hubble and Kepler space telescopes. The same technique has previously been employed to determine the masses of planets in systems with multiple transiting planets, where each planet tugs the others, giving rise to such variations in timing.

"It was definitely a shocking moment to see that Hubble light curve, my heart started beating a little faster and I just kept looking at that signature". "But we knew our job was to keep a level head testing every conceivable way in which the data could be tricking us until we were left with no other explanation". Their results were published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

Moons are abundant in our own solar system, with close to 200.

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers found 'compelling' evidence for the moon, orbiting the planet Kepler-1625b. Despite its size, the mass of Kepler-1625b-i is estimated to be only 1.5 percent of the mass of its companion planet (Kepler-1625b).

Named Kepler 1625b-i, the moon is unusual because it has a mass and radius similar to Solar System's Neptune.

According to NASA, the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes have found evidence of a satellite that is orbiting exoplanet Kepler-1625b.

Even though they lie within their system's habitable zone, both the exoplanet and the exomoon are gaseous and thus unsuitable for life.

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