Space & Astronomy
First extrasolar moon potentially discovered
July 28, 2017 | 5 comments
Have astronomers really found an extrasolar moon ? Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers believe that they may have found, for the first time, a moon orbiting an extrasolar planet.
While discovering planets around other stars has become increasingly commonplace in recent years, detecting the moons of these distant worlds has proven difficult due to their relatively small size.
Now though, a team of astronomers headed up by Dr David Kipping from Columbia University in New York believe that they may have finally been able to detect one of these moons for the first time.
To locate one, the researchers came up with a shortlist of 284 potential solar systems and then looked for the telltale dip in the light coming from those stars that typically indicates the presence of a planet.
They then took things one step further by looking out for even fainter dips in light occurring either directly before or after the exoplanet itself had passed by.
While the initial results of this technique have revealed what the scientists believe to be a genuine extrasolar moon, it will take quite a bit of additional work to confirm that this is actually the case.
For now at least, the find is being treated as more of a "hint" than an actual, concrete discovery.
Source: Huffington Post
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