Astronomers searching for exomoons


This video says about itself:

The Hunt for Exomoons – Lightcurve Demo

from Alex Parker

In addition to the host of new planets discovered by the Kepler mission, we are now capable of detecting large moons circling planets around other stars. These exomoons modify the shape, timing, and duration of the transit lightcurve of their host planet, and this illustration demonstrates all of these effects.

New algorithms are being developed to detect these signatures in Kepler data, and if large moons are common in the universe, the first exomoon discovery could happen at any time.

From Scientific American about this:

What an Exomoon Would Look Like from Earth [Video]

Moons orbiting distant planets might be visible in existing spacecraft data

By Michael Moyer | January 1, 2014

 

In “Astronomers Search for Moons Circling Distant Exoplanets” author Lee Billings explores the hunt for moons orbiting distant planets—exomoons. The project uses data from the Kepler satellite mission, which (until technical issues sidelined it earlier this year) had been focusing on a single spot in the sky in the hope of catching so-called “transits”—instances when an exoplanet would pass in front of its host star, blocking some of the light. If any moons orbited those planets, they could also be visible in the data. This video animation by Alex Parker, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, shows what a theoretical exomoon would look like.

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