First Exomoon May Have Been Discovered

Many are excited about this moons existence because… The first exomoon may have been found. For those who don’t know, an exomoon is a natural satellite that orbits an...

Many are excited about this moons existence because…

The first exomoon may have been found. For those who don’t know, an exomoon is a natural satellite that orbits an exoplanet or other non-stellar extrasolar bodies. Many are excited about this moons existence because this may manifest new theories to how satellites are born.

Two Astronomers, David Kipping and Alex Teachey of Columbia University, had been watching the star Kepler-1625, with a Hubble Telescope for 40 hours on October 28 and 29, 2017. The star had a Jupiter-sized planet that orbits it every 287 days.

This was discovered by the by the Kepler space telescope, and detected dips in starlight which indicated a planet was transiting in front of the star. According to the Kepler data, there were signs of a second dimming, either before or after the planet passed.

But was expected to be seen if an exomoon was orbiting a planet of course. The two Astronomers ended up naming the moon, Kepler-1625b, or “Neptmoon”. However, Teachey and Kipping still needed more evidence to confirm that Kepler-1625b was a moon and not a planet or an activity on another star.

Hubble saw a second dip in light after planet crossed the star. A 19-hour transit by the planet was started, 77.8 minutes earlier than anticipated. This suggests something may have been tugging on the planet due to gravitational pull. The signals are consistent with Neptmoon existing. The researchers still want to run more tests with the Hubble telescope.

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