New York NY (SPX) Jan 14, 2022 Astronomers have reported a second, super-sized moon orbiting a...
Astronomers have reported a second, super-sized moon orbiting a Jupiter-sized planet beyond our solar system.
The team spotted the giant exomoon candidate orbiting the planet Kepler 1708b, a world 5,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the Cygnus and Lyra constellations.
If one astronomer's hypothesis is correct, the moons may have even started life as planets, only to be pulled into the orbit of an even bigger planet like Kepler 1625b or 1708b.
The researchers sought out cold, giant gas planets on wide orbits in their search for exomoons precisely because the analog in our own solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, have more than a hundred moons between them.
Exomoons fascinate astronomers for the same reasons that exoplanets do.
After scanning 70 planets in depth, they found just one candidate - Kepler 1708b - with a moon-like signal.
"We find an intriguing object, make a prediction, and either confirm the exomoon candidate or rule it out with future observations."
Spotting a moon or even a planet hundreds to thousands of light-years from Earth is anything but straightforward.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter$5+ Billed Monthly SpaceDaily Contributor $5 Billed Once credit card or paypal From dust to planet: how gas giants form Nagoya, Japan Jan 12, 2022.
Even though these planets are quite common in the Universe, scientists still don't fully understand how they form.