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First possible exomoon spotted

 
phocuss
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12/24/2013 06:52 AM

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First possible exomoon spotted
Even as the number of planets known beyond the Solar System climbs above 1,000, the discovery of an accompanying exomoon has remained elusive until, perhaps, now.

Many exoplanets probably have moons orbiting them. Some of those moons might even be large enough, and have an atmosphere, to host extraterrestrial life.

On a June night two years ago, a telescope in New Zealand captured a momentary brightening of a star in the constellation Sagittarius. It was an occurence of a rare phenomenon known as microlensing, in which a star or planet or other celestial object passes directly between Earth and a more distant star, gravitationally magnifying the light of the faraway star.

After sifting through detailed observations of this event, astronomers proposed that the intervening object could be either a smallish star with a Neptune-sized planet orbiting it, or a largish planet with a moon orbiting it.

If the latter possibility is confirmed, it would be the first ever detection of an exomoon. The problem is that there is no way to repeat the observation and know for sure.

Read more: [link to www.nature.com]
phocuss  (OP)

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12/24/2013 08:15 AM

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Re: First possible exomoon spotted
bump
Oh Aye

User ID: 51426127
United Kingdom
12/24/2013 08:23 AM
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Re: First possible exomoon spotted
..exomoon.....exomoon...book
The chariots of God are tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands.





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