The new discovery of astronomers is called "exomoon" was found from Nasa's Kepler spacecraft data and observed using the Hubble telescope and it is described as the size of Neptune and orbits a planet the size of Jupiter but with 10 times the mass. The moon, which orbits a giant exoplanet called Kepler-1625b, is incredibly large, comparable to the size of the gas giant Neptune in our solar system.
Moons are certainly plentiful in our solar system - the four giant planets host over 200 moons between them - so it is entirely plausible that many (or even most) of the now known exoplanets - nearly 4,000 - should harbour exomoons.
Future searches for exomoons, in general, will target Jupiter-size planets that are farther from their star than Earth is from the Sun.
In a new paper published in Science Advances, Alex Teachey and David Kipping of Columbia University present their case for the first "exomoon", and it's some pretty wild stuff. It is gaseous and orbits a gas planet 10 times the mass of Jupiter.
In the Solar system known eight major planets and their satellites about 200.
Teachey and co-author David Kipping, an assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia, published their findings in the journal Science Advances on October 3. They will use the Hubble Space Telescope for more observations in May 2019 to confirm their finding. They estimate it to be 1.5 percent the mass of its planet and the mass ratio between planet and moon to be close to that of the Earth-Moon system.
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"We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention", Kipping stated. This is consistent with a model of the system in which the planet and its moon orbit a common centre of gravity, causing the planet to wobble away from its predicted location .
Moons are kind of the next frontier when it comes to understanding alien solar systems, says Bedell: "They capture our imagination".
"You could argue that because larger objects are easier to detect than smaller ones, this is really the lowest-hanging fruit, so it might not be wholly unexpected that the first exomoon detection would be among the largest possible", Teachey said. If many more exomoons are detected in the coming years with similar properties to Kepler-1625b-i, it would hardly be a controversial claim to add one more. This new moon - if it exists - is also huge, about the size of Neptune. If real, Nept-moon would also be gaseous, and would appear twice as big as our moon in Kepler-1625b's sky.
Scientists are convinced that have received the exact proof of the existence of the moon orbiting the exoplanet Kepler-1625b. "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". The Earth-moon system formed as a result of a giant impact in the early solar system. These observations have to be done from space; the rotation of Earth means that ground-based telescopes spin away from their targets before they can capture a whole event. Out of these, only one planet showed signs of hosting a moon, one around the star known as Kepler-1625.
GREENFIELDBOYCE: The researchers have requested more time on Hubble to do more observations next May.