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NASA Telescopes may have discovered the first "Exomoon"



The potential Exomoon encircles an exoplanet called Kepler-1625b, which was discovered using NASA's Kepler Space Observatory in a recent study that identified 284 "transiting planets". This is the term for planets that move between the earth and its home star. This causes the light of the star to be darkened from our point of view.

This transit method can tell astronomers a good deal about the planets orbiting a particular star, but it's much harder to spot moons orbiting those planets. To look more closely, the research team required 40 hours of Hubble Space Telescope, which is about four times stronger than Kepler.

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By Studying. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 263 & lang = DE In the transit data, the researchers were able to provide two signals recognize the presence of an Exomons. First, they observed a slight decrease in the brightness of the star as the potential Exomoon passed the front. About three hours after the planet had dampened the star's light, Hubble registered a second smaller decrease in the brightness of the star. This is an indication that a moon "drives like a dog behind the planet and follows its owner on a leash", so Kipping in an opinion on the new data.

In addition to the transit darkening, the researchers have also measured certain gravitational effects potential Moon would have on his home planet. It appears that the expected transit of Kepler-1

625b occurred almost 80 minutes earlier than expected. This indicates that something is tugging on the planet, possibly a moon. The gravitational effect can be measured as transit timing variations or TTVs that provide a second method for detecting the presence of an exomon.

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Taken together, these two indications are promising, but professional astronomers are notoriously precise and cautious. Before the Exomoon is confirmed, the team plans to comb data from past Kepler 1625b transits. In other words, they'll look at Hubble's archival tapes and see if they can see the moon from their previous travels throwing shadows on the earth.

Then they will be closer to determining if they have really found what they are looking for.

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