Research

In a surprise, first alien moon discovered is big and gaseous

In a surprise, first alien moon discovered is big and gaseous

"This would be the first case of detecting a moon outside our solar system", said Kipping, an assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia.

Did the Hubble Space Telescope come up with evidence of the first moon orbiting a planet outside of our solar system?

"The fact is, it's so odd and it's the first of its kind", says David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University. 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.

In observing exomoons, the researchers scrutinized data from 284 Kepler-found planets that were in relatively broad paths, with time spans pronounced than 30 days around their host stars.

And in one instance, they found "deviations and wobbles" in the light curve representing a planet known as Kepler-1625b. Now, two scientists from Columbia University in New York (USA) have used the incomparable capabilities of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the star Kepler-1625, 8000 light-years away, and its planet in more detail. They were on the lookout for a second temporary dimming of starlight. And those that follow a planet's passages in front of its star have more of these passages to work with when planets are closer and their orbits are shorter.

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

For now, we can't get any answers to those questions, but we can at least hope the moon discovery will be confirmed, hopefully by future Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Observations. Of the data, one planet - Kepler-1625b - presented a transit signature that had "intriguing anomalies" that researchers believe may point toward an exomoon. "Unfortunately, the scheduled Hubble observations ended before the complete transit of the moon could be measured". That's why the astronomers need another look with Hubble, hopefully next spring. "Furthermore, the size we've calculated for this moon, about the size of Neptune, has hardly been anticipated and so that, too, is reason to be careful here".

He added: "We're not cracking open Champagne bottles just yet on this one". In addition, the ideal candidate planets hosting moons are in large orbits, with long and infrequent transit times. The moons of Jupiter and Saturn on the other hand coalesced from the debris left behind after the planets formed.

This NASA photo taken on July 20, 1969 shows astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. saluting the U.S. flag on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Kepler-1625b i is the first to be claimed, but the long wait and dearth of other detections has "not surprised" Michelle Hill of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, who earlier this year was the lead author of a paper calculating the possibility that there could be more moons in habitable zones around stars than there are planets. A moon could cause that kind of an uncertain, wobbly path, they noted.

Mr Kipping said the moon was "trailing the planet like a dog following its owner on a leash". But Kepler didn't find any other planets around this star.

Planet-hunting missions like Kepler, she notes, have found plenty of gas giants orbiting stars at a cozy distance.

The new study was published online today (Oct. 3) in the journal Science Advances.

Even though gas giants aren't typically considered hospitable to life, it's hard to resist comparing the pair to exoplanets and exomoons in the movies, such as Polyphemus and Pandora in "Avatar".

GREENFIELDBOYCE: A couple years ago, he and a colleague named Alex Teachey began scrutinizing data collected by NASA's Kepler space telescope.

"When we run our model, the moon hypothesis was the best and only single explanation for the timing effects and the dimming of the star that we see in the data", Teachey said.

Whether confirmed or not, the subject offers insight into how rare - or how common - our own solar system might be.

There are no moons anywhere near as big in our solar system.


  • Nicolle Wallace on Kilmeade Criticizing Trump for Mocking Ford

    Nicolle Wallace on Kilmeade Criticizing Trump for Mocking Ford

    Mimicking Ford, Trump said , "How did you get there?" "Even for Donald Trump this represents a new low". Mike Lupica said Fox News turning on Trump is a sign that he "screwed up".
    Dodgers Play Rockies In Single-Game Tie-Breaker Monday

    Dodgers Play Rockies In Single-Game Tie-Breaker Monday

    He may be cocky, but the 24-year-old backed it up on the field, helping the Dodgers secure their sixth straight NL West title. The Dodgers now advance to the NLDS, where they will host the Atlanta Braves in a best of five series beginning on Thursday.
    Theresa May to tell conference

    Theresa May to tell conference

    Above all this was the sign of a PM rolling a pitch for further compromise in upcoming home straight Brexit negotiations. But she insisted the option of leaving the European Union without an overall deal must be kept on the table.
  • Kavanaugh accused of throwing ice at man in 1985

    Kavanaugh accused of throwing ice at man in 1985

    She has spoken to the Federal Bureau of Investigation , but Ford had reportedly not been contacted by the agency as of Monday. The report is the latest indication that Kavanaugh drank to excess in his youth and, apparently, became belligerent.
    Lethal Weapon: Damon Wayans Announces He's Leaving the Show

    Lethal Weapon: Damon Wayans Announces He's Leaving the Show

    Damon's dead serious too. and says he's going to return to the stage after leaving the TV show to "try to find my smile again". The show, which stars Damon Wayans and Sean Scott Williams, is now on the third season which launched at the end of September.
    Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua fight is going to happen

    Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua fight is going to happen

    The 32-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) will be by far Fury's toughest opponent since he beat the retired Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs). But as for Fury's chances, Finkel said: "When I was handling Klitschko, I didn't think he had a chance".
  • Jose Mourinho 'immediate sacking' rumours dismissed by Manchester United

    Jose Mourinho 'immediate sacking' rumours dismissed by Manchester United

    Jose Mourinho's position at the helm of Manchester United is not under immediate threat, senior figures at the club have said. The former England full-back added: "Eventually I've got to stand up and say, "look, I'm not good enough to do this".
    Democrat congressman berates Trump for ‘piggish’ insult to female reporter

    Democrat congressman berates Trump for ‘piggish’ insult to female reporter

    That's not nice", he said, adding that he wanted to answer a question about trade and moving on to another reporter. He ignored her and moved on to another reporter's question. "You've been asking a question for 10 minutes".
    Colorado Rockies Douse Wrigley Field In Champagne After Upsetting Cubs

    Colorado Rockies Douse Wrigley Field In Champagne After Upsetting Cubs

    Whatever happens, it's going to be a long winter for the Cubs and their fans as they look back on a disastrous end of the year. The Cubs are expected to retain manager Joe Maddon through the 2019 season, ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers reports .
  • Petrol, Diesel Prices Rise In Metros Despite Cuts; Check Rates Here

    Petrol, Diesel Prices Rise In Metros Despite Cuts; Check Rates Here

    Absorbing this Rs 10,500 crore in increased collection and maintaining fiscal deficit I am confident we will be able to do that. Thank you Hon PM @narendramodi ji and Union Minister @arunjaitley ji for reducing ₹2.50/litre on both Diesel and Petrol .
    GE ousts Flannery, names Lawrence Culp chairman and CEO

    GE ousts Flannery, names Lawrence Culp chairman and CEO

    GE will need to take a goodwill impairment charge of almost all the $23 billion in its goodwill balance, according to the company. GE doubled down on fossil fuels in 2015 under Immelt with the $10.3-billion purchase of French group Alstom SA's power business.
    US Crude Oil Price Set to Stabilize at Higher Levels

    US Crude Oil Price Set to Stabilize at Higher Levels

    Trump did not specify when he made the remarks to the Saudi monarch but they come on the back of increasing oil prices in the US. This is predicted to show that weekly crude inventories rose by 1,985,000 barrels after the previous week's 1,852,000 increase.