Telescopes "Hubble" and "Kepler" found first aktolun


"It's big and weird by solar system standards", David Kipping, an astronomy professor at Columbia University, gave his opinion on the moon, " It is known as an exomoon because it is outside our solar system".

The new exomoon is about the size of Neptune, which has a diameter four times bigger than Earth's and is 17 times as enormous. We now know of thousands of planets that exist outside of our Solar System, but we also know from our own system that lots of planets have natural satellites.

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

One of the authors behind the study - David Kipping from Columbia University in the United States - has been speculating about the possible existence of exomoons, and describing how they might be detected, for the last ten years. The researchers say this may yield new insights into the development of planetary systems and may cause experts to revisit theories of how moons form around planets.

Teachey and Kipping believe the moon is approximately the size of Neptune, making it larger than any moon in our solar system.

Named Kepler 1625b-i, the moon is unusual because it has a mass and radius similar to Solar System's Neptune. Kepler uses the transit method, which involves measuring the regular dimming of a star's light caused by an orbiting planet passing in front of it, to indirectly detect exoplanets.

"We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention", said Kipping.

The results from the Kepler space telescope were enough for the team to get some time using the Hubble Space Telescope. Another compelling evidence in favour of their apparent discovery was that the planet passed in front of its star one hour earlier than they had predicted.

There are no moons anywhere near this size in our solar system. It was like "a moon trailing the planet like a dog following its owner on a leash", Kipping said. However, the observation period was over before the moon could complete its transit.

"The first exomoon is obviously an extraordinary claim and it requires extraordinary evidence", Teachey told reporters in a teleconference organized by the journal that published the findings. Kepler-1625b is the only planet found so far around this star.

In addition to this dip in light, Hubble provided supporting evidence for the moon hypothesis by finding the planet transit occurring more than an hour earlier than predicted. This catalog included 284 planets found by Kepler with wide orbits around their host stars.

The transit timing variation seen in the Kepler-1625b data could similarly be due to the presence of an unseen outer planet, perturbing the orbit of the gas giant. But, according to Kipping, neither gaseous object is suitable for life as we know it.

The Columbia astronomers directed the Hubble Space Telescope in October in an attempt to verify or rule out their findings. They checked about 300 planets for any weirdness that might mean a moon. 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.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: The researchers have requested more time on Hubble to do more observations next May.

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