A team of scientists believes to have found the first ever exomoon, one that is also just as big as Neptune, according to reports on the matter. While quite a number of exoplanets have been detected and attested, this could become the first ever exomoon, one that is now being called Kepler-1625b I.
Kepler-1625b I was spotted with some help from the NASA Kepler Space telescope and its magnifying power. This new discovery is part of a larger project, one titled The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler or HEK. It is an attempt at conducting a systematic research of the galaxies outside of the Milky Way. One that is trying to do so by using Kepler’s capabilities. The space telescope can track the brightness of over 145,000 stars in its set field of view.
This latest exomoon candidate was spotted orbiting a star situated some 4,000 light years away from our planet. Kepler-1625b I is also believed to be around the size of Neptune, which also led to its being called Nep-moon by the team.
Kepler-1625b I might reportedly be orbiting a Jupiter-sized star, named Kepler-1625b. According to the initial theories on the matter, this star’s gravity might have pulled Kepler-1625b I into its orbit and made it its moon.
Kepler-1625b I Could Become the First Ever Discovered Exomoon
Scientists have yet to completely prove that Kepler-1625b I is, in fact, an exomoon. However, things are looking quite good as the natural satellite passed the first series of tests on the matter. Reportedly, it caused three dips in the measured starlight, which is a tell-tale sign and a standard testing method.
“We’re excited about it. Statistically, formally, it’s a very high probability. But do we really trust the statistics? That’s something unquantifiable,” David Kipping of the Columbia University and the study was reported as saying.
For the moment, Kepler-1625b I is estimated to have some 50 – 50 chances of actually turning out to be an exomoon. The research team behind this discovery is looking to release a paper on the matter. This has yet to be peer-reviewed but is available in the pre-print site arXiv.org.
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