Further evidence of a moon outside our solar system

Further evidence of a moon outside our solar system

"That demands a higher level of rigor and skepticism than you would normally apply to a run-of-the-mill detection".

For both Alex Teachey and David Kipping from the Columbia University, they indeed discovered the first moon outside our solar system, only that they don't have indisputable evidence to prove it.

The astronomers stated that the 'exomoon, ' which is a natural satellite that orbits an exoplanet or another non-stellar extrasolar body, is located eight thousands of light-years from Earth.

Likewise, Teachey is not discouraged by the fact that only one of almost 300 planets surveyed appeared to host a moon.

Kipping has spent the past decade or so working to do just that.

And when E.T. phones home, there's no reason that home couldn't be a moon.

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

In flickering light of a distant sun, scientists may have discovered the first moon outside our solar system.

Researchers have been studying Kepler-1625b as part of their hunt for exomoons and, out of a pool of 284 exoplanets, Kipping and Teachey found that Kepler-1625b was the best candidate. This is interpreted as a so-called transit timing variation, caused by an unaccounted for gravitational tug on the planet by an unseen body. What popped out was Kepler-1625b. This was hard for Kipping, who said in a press release that he could barely contain his excitement during testing.

The team is doing their best to stay skeptical, in order to address any and all alternate possibilities. This small decrease is consistent with a gravitationally-bound moon trailing the planet, much like a dog following after its owner.

"We hope to re-observe the star again in the future to verify or reject the exomoon hypothesis", Kipping tells Wall as Space.com. After this period showed one stage of weak reduction in the brightness of stars.

The moon is estimated to be only 1.5 per cent the mass of its companion planet, which itself estimated to be several times the mass of Jupiter.

Still the researchers are trying to claim more data as the discovery requires extraordinary evidence.

It revolves around a gas giant and nearly does not differ from it in size.

"If this does pan out and turn into a true discovery, it would be really revolutionary, but I don't think we're quite there yet", says Megan Bedell, an astronomer at the Flatiron Institute in NY. In the case of the Earth-Moon system and the Pluto-Charon system, the moons are thought to be created through dust leftover after rocky planetary collisions. The first drop in brightness had to be a planet passing in front of its star, while the second failure could justify the presence of ecolony outside our solar system.

"If confirmed, this finding could completely shake up our understanding of how moons are formed and what they can be made of", stated Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's science mission chief.

Planets seem to be quite common, so it seems likely that moons should be common, too. These observations ended before a full transit of the moon could be measured but the evidence provided were the most compelling yet for the first known planetary satellite around an exoplanet. "I think the real question is not whether they exist", says Kipping, "but how big do they get?"



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