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First 'exomoon' may have been found

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Astronomers have announced the possible discovery of the first known moon outside our Solar System.

This "exomoon" is not like any in our cosmic neighbourhood: it's the size of Neptune and orbits a planet the size of Jupiter - but with 10 times the mass.

The object was spotted in data from Nasa's Kepler spacecraft, and later observed using the Hubble telescope.

Astronomers David Kipping and Alex Teachey have published their results in Science Advances journal.

But they say that further observations are needed to understand the distant planetary system.



Evidence for a large exomoon orbiting Kepler-1625b



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"It's big and weird by solar system standards," said Prof David Kipping of Columbia University.

It’s big and weird by the standards of our solar system he means.  Just saying.

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Makes me wonder, at what point do they decide to call it a twin (or binary) planet. (They do not necessarily have to have a parent star to orbit around you know.) While they considered Pluto a planet they never classified Charon as one, even though they are on the same scale, both magnitudes smaller than Jupiter, so why call one a planet the other a moon? Because they are not EXACTLY the same size/mass?


So what if you have a twin planet where one is smaller but heavier than the other? Which one will be the planet and which one the moon? Saying all this, our Moon isn't much smaller than the Earth, yet how weird would it be to call it our twin planet? Must have something to do with man wanting to imagine themselves (and the planet they happen to inhabit) the center of the universe... (Not that the Moon orbits the Earth, both orbit the shared center of mass, no?)

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