Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener
    11:06 Deals

    Unreal Prime Day deal gets you a MyQ smart garage opener and a $40 Amazon credit for $17

  2. Amazon Dash Smart Shelf
    15:16 Deals

    I’m obsessed with this Amazon gadget you’ve never heard of – and it&#821…

  3. Amazon Gift Card Prime Day Deals
    07:58 Deals

    Free money is definitely Amazon’s hottest deal of Prime Day 2021

  4. Prime Day Deals 2021
    04:05 Deals

    Amazon Prime Day deals 2021: See hundreds of the best deals right here

  5. Prime Day Deals
    11:01 Deals

    Check these early Prime Day deals with prices so low, it’s like Amazon made a mistak…




First ‘exomoon’ may have just been spotted by the Kepler Space Telescope

July 29th, 2017 at 3:02 PM
exomoon discovery

Astronomers around the world continue to spot new planets outside of our Solar System on a regular basis, and some of those worlds look like they just might be good candidates for life, but spotting moons that aren’t in our immediate neighborhood is a far more difficult challenge. Now, researchers led by David Kipping of Columbia University think they might be the first to actually confirm the presence of a moon in a distant planetary system — an “exomoon” — and it’s an extremely exciting discovery.

The team made its find using data from the Kepler Space Telescope, and used a familiar technique to spot the mythical moon. Observing the star called Kepler-1625, researchers have spotted regular dips in the brightness of the light it emits, proving the presence of a planet, and a similar strategy was used to detect the faint hint of a moon. As the planet passed in front of the star, the brightness of the light from behind it repeatedly dipped even further, suggesting a moon orbiting the planet was blocking out additional light at regular intervals.

The data suggests that if the moon does exist — and the chances of the readings being erroneous are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 16,000, so it seems incredibly likely — it’s actually quite large. The planet it orbits is thought to be roughly the size of Jupiter, and the moon itself is as large as Neptune, making it nearly four times larger than Earth.

Despite the difficulty of detecting moons in far-off planetary systems, finding them is still a high priority for astronomers. Moons are just as likely — and in some cases, more likely — than their host planets to support extraterrestrial life, and if we do manage to discover living organisms outside of Earth, it could very well be found on a moon rather than a planet.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.




Popular News