Saturday, April 12, 2014

First 'Exomoon' Discovered Around Alien Planet?


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First 'Exomoon' Around Alien Planet

By Mike Wall
space.com
4-10-14

      For the first time ever, astronomers may have spotted a moon circling an alien planet — though they'll probably never know for sure exactly what they've found.

A team of scientists detected a pair of faraway objects that could be a giant Jupiter-like alien planet and a rocky exomoon flying freely through space, or a small dim star hosting a planet about 18 times more massive than Earth.

The astronomers used a technique called gravitational microlensing, watching what happens a big foreground object passes in front of a star from our perspective on Earth. The nearby body's gravitational field bends and magnifies the light from the distant star, acting like a lens. . . .

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