Have astronomers found the first exomoon beyond our solar system? - Read

Have astronomers found the first exomoon beyond our solar system? - Read

Have astronomers found the first exomoon beyond our solar system? - Read

The trio of researchers used the data collected by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope for finding out the first ever Exomoon of the universe.

A paper on the exomoon has been published on the Arvix.org site.

Astronomers have now discovered plenty of exoplanets - planets outside our Solar System orbiting suns like our own - but the hunt for smaller exomoons around these planets goes on. Scientists suggest that the likely ekzotik was not formed along with his planet, and was attracted by its huge mass to orbit much later. But so far, these extrasolar satellites have lingered at the limits of detection with current techniques.

As told by David Kipping from Columbia University to BBC, "We are keyed up about the discovery".

However, he believed these signals should be treated with caution for the time being.

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"After our largest survey to date, we have recently detected a strong candidate moon signal in the light curve of Kepler-1625b", the team wrote in a public request to observe the planet with the Hubble Space Telescope.

This find is part of a larger project called The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK), an attempt to make a systematic search of the galaxies outside the Milky Way using Kepler's capabilities - the orbiting space observatory can track the brightness of more than 145,000 stars in its fixed field of view.

The promising signal was observed during three transits - fewer than the astronomers would like to have confidence in announcing a discovery.

Kipping made his discovery with a colleague Alex Teachey and a citizen scientist Allan R Schmitt. This is a measure of how unlikely it is that an experimental result is simply down to chance. "Statistically, there is a high probability that the celestial body we have discovered with the help of Kepler Space Telescope to be an Exomoon".

Kipping's team said that they were over 99.38 percent confident that the object they had observed was an exomoon. "That's something unquantifiable. Until we get the measurements from Hubble, it may as well be 50-50 in my mind".

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It has been dubbed Kepler-1625b I and orbits a star 4,000 light-years from Earth.

For the moon to be large enough to cause a dimming that Kepler can detect, Kipping says, it must be extremely large - to the tune of the size of Neptune, four times the size of Earth. That would give it a radius around ten times bigger than any moon in our solar system.

"I'd say it's the best [candidate] we've had", Dr Kipping told me.

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