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A moon that orbits an extrasolar planet.
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Astronomers have found one of the best exomoon candidates based on data collected by the Kepler spacecraft.
Though it is not sure if it exists or not, the proof offered by Teachey and Kipling set-off speculation of what the exomoon could be like.
Scientists have in recent years discovered over 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, but so far, no one has been able to confirm an exomoon.
The potential exomoon has been dubbed "Kepler 1625b i.
It's the most thorough look at exomoon habitability I've seen," says Darren Williams, an astronomer at Penn State Erie who was not involved in the research.
These modes of detection usually demand a chance, fortuitous alignment of parent star, extrasolar planet, and moon--although Kipping and his colleagues are proposing an alternative to this chancy mode of detection that should increase the odds of astronomers finally bagging an exomoon.
The true identity of the exomoon candidate and its companion, a system dubbed MOA-2011-BLG-262, will remain unknown.
The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project, led by Kipping, scans through Kepler's planet haul looking for TTV, which can also be a signature of an exomoon.
com/first-exomoon-found-scientists-may-have-discovered-moon-orbiting-exoplanet-2571924) Has the First Exomoon Been Found?
com/first-exomoon-found-scientists-may-have-discovered-moon-orbiting-exoplanet-2571924) Have Scientists Found the First Exomoon Ever?
This team of scientists observed the possible exomoon in the same way they would have detected a new exoplanet: They watched out for changes in light caused by one space object passing in front of another.