Astronomers have announced, for the second time, the presence of a giant moon orbiting a planet the size of Jupiter outside our planet Solar System. If confirmed, the note may mean that exomoons common in the universe like outer planets Which, big or small, is characteristic of planetary systems.
This discovery was published on Thursday (13) in the Official Gazette Newspaper natural astronomyled by David Kipping and the team in the Cool Worlds Laboratory at Columbia University in the US. This is the same team that reported The first exomoon filter in 2017.
Astronomers have found more than 10,000 candidates outer planets So far, but the outer moons present a much bigger challenge,” Kipping said at Release. Exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, are planets that do not revolve around our sun, that is, they do not belong to our solar system. Moons are moons that revolve around these planets.
Exomoons fascinate Astronomy scientists For the same reasons, exoplanets have the power to reveal how and where life originated on Earth. being. Scientists want to know how these outer moons formed, whether they could support life, and what, if any, role they played in making habitable their host planets.
The team identified an outer moon candidate that orbits an exoplanet Kepler 1708b, which is 5,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the planets Cygna and Lyra. The find is about a third smaller than a moon-sized exomoon. Neptune which Kipping and colleagues previously found orbiting an exoplanet similar to Jupiter, Kepler 1625b.
Both giant moon candidates are likely made of Gas that accumulated under gravity pull due to its enormous size. There is a hypothesis Posted in Work 2019, that moons may have begun their lives as planets, only to be pulled into the orbit of a larger planet, as in the case of Kepler 1625b or 1708b.
The researchers searched for gaseous planets Planets and giants in wide orbits in their search for outer moons precisely because their counterparts in our solar system, Jupiter and SaturnBetween them are more than a hundred moons.
In the current study, we observed a sample of giant planets invader coldest recorded by space ship NASA Kepler planet hunter. After scanning 70 planets in depth, they found only one candidate – Kepler 1708b – with a moon-like signal.
Notes from others telescopes space, like Hubble, also from NASA, will be required to verify the discovery – a process that could take years. Kipping’s first discovery of external emissions, from 2017, is still hotly debated years later.
Astronomers such as Eric Agul of the University of Washington in the US are more pessimistic. “It could just be fluctuation in the data, due to the asterisk or the noise of the machines,” he noted. Others, such as Michael Hebeck, an independent astronomer from Germany, are more optimistic. “This is Science At its best. We find something intriguing, make a prediction, and confirm or rule out the exomoon filter with it comments future,” he explained.
See hundreds or thousands of things light years It’s not simple. The moons and planets can only be observed indirectly as they pass in front of them stars adding, causing the starlight to dim. Capturing one of these traffic lights with a telescope is challenging, as is interpreting light curve data. Moons are more difficult to detect because they are smaller and block less light.
But for Kipping, the search is well worth it. Remember that having outer planets It’s been received with the same skepticism that exomoons are today. These planets Aliens Compared to our home system. However, they have revolutionized our understanding of how Planetary systems It is being formed,” added the professor.
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