The exomoon, Kepler 1625 orbits about 8,000 light-years away from Earth, a circling an aging star, marching once around its sun in a single Earth-year but scientist suspect that the planet’s skies are filled by an orbiting mega-moon that may be the first moon spotted outside our solar system.
For the so-called exomoon presence announced on July 2017, were made more observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, and scientist was able to gather more data about the orbital companion for Kepler 1625b.
Now, David Kipping and Alex Teachey from Columbia University in New York are hoping that in their result and reports have taken every hypothesis in consideration and that they will get independent confirmation and appreciation.
Over the last years, astronomers kept hunting bodies that orbit distant planets and planets from the star-soaked fabric of the cosmos, using multiple techniques to find them and confirm their existence. But until now nothing suggested the presence on an alien moon.
Dr. Kipping has been researching for over a decade to find several promising exomoon candidates working with data returned by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft. For about four years he examined two signals suggestive of an exomoon in the data from several transits. The first of these signals was a dip in the parent star’s brightness as the exomoon passed in front. The second was a delay in the planet passing in front of its star. He stated “The biggest things will be the easiest to find,” as he claims that it would be possible to spot the planet footprints in the starlight due to the large size.
While looking in data from Kepler 1625b for any presence of a moon, they detected a massive body that appeared to be orbiting the planet. All signs signal to a moon discovery.
To gather more precise data on the strange system the researchers monitored in October 2017, during Kepler 1625b’s next transit for 40 hours. During this event, using the Hubble telescope it was measured the systems, like Kepler, it spotted patterns pointing to an exomoon. Kepler 1625b began its star-crossing passage 77.8 minutes early, according to Dr Kipping, 3.5 hours after the planet’s transit ended, the Hubble telescope recorded some gravitationally dragging as the second smaller dimming of the star’s brightness happened again which the team ascribed to the gravitational nudging of a large satellite.
Yale University’s Greg Laughlin suggests that the transit timing variation with another transit of the moon itself it will be a strong proof in favor of the moon.
Dr. Kipping and Teachey have already made the detection pretty clear now they have to wait a long time because of the orbit in order to see the next transition.
Description of the possible moon
The new discovery is estimated, by the two astronomers, twice as large as Earth’s moon in the planet’s skies and massive as the ice giant Neptune. It orbits about 1.8 million miles from its Jupiter-size planet. Kepler 1625b is roughly the same distance from its star as Earth is from the sun. But that star is twice the sun’s age and is in the process of evolving into a red giant. That means temperatures at the moon could be around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, but the team says it’s possible that we see the moon in an inflated state compared to how it was in the past. But the habitability in a system with two gas giants is not concerned of Dr. Kippin and Dr. Teachey.