First the moon outside our solar system found astronomers

First the moon outside our solar system found astronomers

Astronomers are convinced that found the first known analog of a moon outside our Solar system, which orbits around the giant planet, over 8 thousand light-years from Earth.

Over the last years, astronomers kept hunting bodies that orbit distant planets and planets from the star-soaked fabric of the cosmos, using multiple techniques to find them and confirm their existence.

Since researchers first began detecting exoplanets, or worlds orbiting stars other than our Sun, in the early 1990s, we've gone on to catalogue nearly 3,800 alien planets, with thousands more sightings waiting for confirmation.

"This would be the first case of detecting a moon outside our Solar System", Kipping, an assistant professor of astronomy, said in a statement. The exoplanet is a gas giant, several times more massive than Jupiter.

We know there are some 200 moons in our own solar system, including Earth's aptly named "moon". Jupiter's moon Ganymede has a diameter of about 3,270 miles (5,260 km). The object has a mass about 1.5% that of the planet - a similar mass-ratio as the Earth and moon.

However, exomoons are harder to detect than exoplanets because they are smaller than their companion planet, and so their transit signal is weaker when plotted on a light curve that measures the duration of the planet crossing and the amount of momentary dimming.

David Kipping, the study's second author, said, 'We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention'.

This has helped scientists gain access to 40 hours for a space telescope Hubble. On the other hand, the scientists agreed that another planet in Kepler-1625b's vicinity might also cause such turbulence.


Dr Kipping said this was consistent with "a moon trailing the planet like a dog following its owner on a leash".

He says they've requested more time on Hubble to do follow-up observations next May, but they are still waiting on the results of that proposal.

"The first exomoon is obviously an extraordinary claim and it requires extraordinary evidence", Teachey told AP. Whether future observations confirm the existence of the Kepler-1625b moon, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will be used to find candidate moons around other planets, with much greater detail than Kepler. But Kepler's four-year mission found no evidence of any additional orbs in the system.

In July 2017, researchers started observing Kepler-1625b, an exoplanet orbiting the star Kepler-1625 in the constellation Cygnus.

KIPPING: So when we look for an Earth twin, I think one of the most obvious things you might ask is, does it have a moon twin, because that seems to have a large influence. Another explanation for the "wobble" could be the gravitational pull of another planet orbiting Kepler-1625. If real, Nept-moon would also be gaseous, and would appear twice as big as our moon in Kepler-1625b's sky. "Both bodies, however, are considered to be gaseous and therefore unsuitable for life as we know it", Kipping added. "Furthermore, the size we've calculated for this moon, about the size of Neptune, has hardly been anticipated and so that, too, is a reason to be careful here", said Alex Teachey.

In October, the astronauts sent the Hubble Space telescope, trying to verify or exclude the findings of scientists from Columbia University. They made a decision to look at exoplanets with the widest orbits, or those that take about 30 days to circle their stars.

Exomoons are hard to find because they are smaller than their companion planet and so their transit signal is weak.

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