Evidence for a large exomoon orbiting Kepler-1625b
Astronomers seem to have discovered the first moon outside of our solar system. Two scientists from Columbia University presented their amazing evidence on Wednesday, October 3.
There are numerous planets outside of our solar system, but the existence of a moon around some of them has not been confirmed so far.
The potential moon would be much larger than Earth _ the size of Neptune or Uranus. The planet that orbits is as big as Jupiter. Both would be about 8,000 light years from our planet.
The authors of the study, Alex Teachey and David Kipping, said they could validate this candidate next year, with more images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Meanwhile, they are encouraging other scientists to join them.
Their conclusions were published in the Science Advances Journal website.
Exomoons are the natural satellites of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system, of which there are currently no confirmed examples. We present new observations of a candidate exomoon associated with Kepler-1625b using the Hubble Space Telescope to validate or refute the moon’s presence.
We find evidence in favor of the moon hypothesis, based on timing deviations and a flux decrement from the star consistent with a large transiting exomoon. Self-consistent photodynamical modeling suggests that the planet is likely several Jupiter masses, while the exomoon has a mass and radius similar to Neptune. Since our inference is dominated by a single but highly precise Hubble epoch, we advocate for future monitoring of the system to check model predictions and confirm repetition of the moon-like signal.