Discovery of the first exo-moon could harbor life
It was identified the first moon outside our solar system. The existence of exo-moons were known for some time. And the odds that they can sustain life are high. However, up to now at least, there were no reports supporting the existence of life. And that just would discover at a distance of 1,800 light years from Earth.
The majority of the thousands of exoplanets discovered to date have been localized by studying the variation of the star’s light. Other exoplanets have also been observed with the aid of a technique known as gravitational microlens.
As pointed out by David Bennett of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2011 it was possible to observe a microlensing event due to the gravitational microlensing of course, with the support of telescopes around the world. The team of astrophysicists, therefore, observed that the light from the distant star was 70 times more obvious than the usual brightness.
Several extrasolar planets have orbiting moons probably. Some of these may be very large and have a suitable environment to host extraterrestrial life. “This is the first real candidate of whom I am aware,” said astronomer David Kipping, of the Harvard University.
In addition, the new moon and its exoplanet seem to be adrift in the cosmos. Astronomers first detected the light from the star, 70 times its normal brightness. An hour later, was located a second, smaller increase in brightness. This suggests that a large object, passed in front of the star, was followed by a smaller one. However, it is unclear whether these two objects are actually a planet and its moon.
In addition to being massive, the exo-moon would be in an orbit of about 20 million kilometers from the planet, a huge distance to the standards of our solar system. The largest moon of Jupiter, Ganymede, which is also the largest in the solar system, is about a million miles and has only 2 percent of the mass of the Earth.
Although astronomers do not confirm with certainty the presence of this moon, this possibility offers an exciting glimpse of what could actually be outside of our solar system. The exo-moon and planetary systems may also have conditions suitable for life, so the priority of scientists is to find a planet – moon transits in front of its star. “Then we could follow objects and measure their atmospheres, sizes and orbital characteristics,” says Kipping. “For the microlensing surveys, we observe only a photograph and we cannot do the kind of detailed characterization that we would like”.