Skip to comments.The Hunt is on for Habitable Exomoons
Posted on 06/14/2013 9:18:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Our solar system is full of moons. Of the 8 major planets, 6 of them have at least one natural satellite in tow, and several of those moons are very interesting places. Icy moons in the outer solar system may even be secretly harboring life. But what about moons elsewhere in the galaxy?
The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) is an astronomy project intended to try and find exomoons. And not just any exomoons; the kind of moons that could be a haven for life. While the Kepler telescope has, sadly, been forced into retirement, the data it collected lives on. And theres a lot of data still to sift though.
The idea of habitable moons is already well known to fans of science fiction. From Star Wars to Prometheus, the idea of a habitable world orbiting a gas giant is quite well ingrained on our collective subconscious. Perhaps this is what inspired the idea back in 2009 that we could look for exomoons with Kepler.
Since then, the idea has come forward in leaps and bounds, and we know of several gas giants within their parent stars habitable zones. Some even expect that exomoons may even be the best place to start looking for extrasolar life...
Kepler-22b is a planet with a 95 percent probability of being in its parent stars habitable zone. Around 620 light-years away from us, it has a radius about 2.4 times as large as Earth, and is about 10 percent as massive as Jupiter. With that size, its most likely to be a gas giant.
Unfortunately, no moon was found around Kepler-22b. If it has any moons at all, they must be smaller than half Earths mass.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
|· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·|
|Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·|
why not endomoons?
I thought Keplar was lost years ago and was unrepairable.
The endomoons as we know it.
Kepler had some malfunctions, and is put into “safe mode” for periods of time, then reactivated for a while.
Keep us informed Bruthuh!!!
ba da bing!
"While the Kepler telescope has, sadly, been forced into retirement, the data it collected lives on. And theres a lot of data still to sift though."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.