Astronomers Find First Alien Moon: Its Big And Gaseous
Astronomers have discovered a large gaseous body, which is the size of Neptune and unlike any moon seen so far. The world that appears to be the first moon detected outside the solar system, orbits a gas planet which is more bigger than Jupiter.
On Wednesday, the discovery which was explained in detail by researchers, was a surprise for everyone. Not because it showed that moons exist outside the solar system, but also because they felt it was only a matter of time for professionals to find another solar system. They were in awe by how different the moon was from our solar system.
“It’s big and weird by solar system standards,” David Kipping, an astronomy professor at Columbia University, gave his opinion on the moon, ” It is known as an exomoon because it is outside our solar system.”
Although the moons in our solar system are rocky or icy objects, the newly discovered exomoon and the planet it orbits, are both gaseous, which is an unexpected pairing. They are located approximately 8,000 light years from Earth.
The exomoon is exponentially larger than our solar system’s biggest moon. Jupiter’s moon Ganymede has a diameter of about 3,270 miles (5,260 km). The exomoon is estimated to be roughly the size of Neptune, the smallest of our solar system’s four gas planets, with a diameter of about 30,600 miles (49,000 km).
The exomoon and its planet orbit Kepler-1625, a star similar in temperature to our sun but about 70 per cent larger. The exomoon orbits roughly 1.9 million miles (3 million km) from its planet. The exomoon’s mass is about 1.5 per cent that of its planet.
Teachey and Kipping relied on the “transit” method, which is already used by researchers to discover nearly 4,000 planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets. They observed a dip in Kepler-1625’s brightness when the planet and then the exomoon passed in front of it.
“You could argue that because larger objects are easier to detect than smaller ones, this is really the lowest-hanging fruit, so it might not be wholly unexpected that the first exomoon detection would be among the largest possible,” Teachey said.