Tags: first | exomoon | orbit | kepler-1625

First Exomoon – If There's Such a Thing – Orbits Kepler-1625?

Image: First Exomoon – If There's Such a Thing – Orbits Kepler-1625?
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 31 Jul 2017 07:44 AM

The first exomoon may have been found by a team of researchers from Columbia University but scientists are calling for caution in identifying whatever is orbiting the star Kepler-1625.

An exomoon is a moon orbiting an exoplanet, or a planet outside of our solar system. While researchers have been able to find plenty of exoplanets, positively identifying possible exomoons orbiting them have remained elusive, Phys.org reported.

Exomoons would be found the same way scientists find exoplanets, by observing the dimming that happens in the light reflected from a planet caused by the transit of its orbiting moon.

The possible exomoon is about 4,000 light years away, making the light from the planet very dim, Phys.org wrote. The BBC News wrote that researchers first found the signal from the possible exomoon through NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

Observations of Kepler-1625b showed periodic dips in the host star's brightness indicating that a massive object was crossing the line of sight from the star to Earth, the journal Nature wrote. The lopsided light dimming, though, suggested there were two objects crossing the star – a possible Jupiter-sized planet with an orbiting Neptune-sized moon, Nature wrote.

The researchers won the approval to get follow-up observations from the powerful Hubble Space Telescope in October, the BBC News noted.

"But we want to make it very clear what this is, and what it isn't," Alex Teachey, a graduate research fellow at Columbia University, who participated in the research, wrote in a Scientific American blog last week. "At this point what we have is an exomoon candidate, which is very different from an exomoon detection.

"While we are optimistic about this candidate, and certainly hope to be credited with the discovery of the exomoon if that is in fact what it is, it remains simply a candidate. Furthermore, we require the follow-up observation on Hubble precisely because we feel the data from Kepler are simply inconclusive. The evidence is tantalizing, but it's just not enough to claim a discovery at this point," Teachey continued.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The first exomoon may have been found by a team of researchers from Columbia University but scientists are calling for caution in identifying whatever is orbiting the star Kepler-1625.
first, exomoon, orbit, kepler-1625
336
2017-44-31
Monday, 31 Jul 2017 07:44 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved