It's a massive moon the size of Neptune, and it circles a planet 10 times more massive than our own Jupiter.
As we reported recently, scientists just discovered the first ever confirmed exomoon 4,000 light years from Earth. It’s a huge discovery as it’s the first time a moon has been spotted outside of our solar system, and with 3,000 exoplanets discovered, it’s been a long time coming. But the details of this moon are what’s truly fascinating.
It’s absolutely huge, the size of Neptune, one of the biggest planets in our solar system. And the planet it circles is even more massive. While it’s the size of Jupiter, it has 10 times the mass. The exomoon has been named Kepler 1625b, and was discovered by the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes.
It’s a major discovery that could lead to further breakthroughs in astronomical discoveries outside of our solar system, and could help us understand the secrets of planetary systems and even galaxies themselves form.
“Exomoons represent an outstanding challenge in modern astronomy, with the potential to provide rich insights into planet formation theory and habitability,” reads an excerpt from the paper, titled On the Dearth of Galilean Analogs in Kepler, and the Exomoon Candidate Kepler-1625B and published by A. Teachey, D.M. Kipping, and A.R. Schmitt. “In this work, we stack the phase-folded transits of 284 viable moon hosting Kepler planetary candidates, in order to search for satellites. These planets range from Earth-to-Jupiter sized and from 0.1-to-1.0AU in separation – so-called \warm” planets. Our data processing includes two-pass harmonic detrending, transit timing variations, model selection and careful data quality vetting to produce a grand light curve with a r.m.s. of 5.1 ppm.”