We have located exoplanets (planets around other suns) and even free-floating planets (planets without a sun), but what about exoplanet moons? A recent video from the YouTube channel Cool Worlds titled “We Discovered a New Exomoon Candidate! A Survey of 70 Cool Gas Giants,” discusses efforts by the Cool Worlds Lab to find these new moons. The Cool Worlds Lab, based at the Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, is a team of astronomers seeking to discover and understand alien worlds, particularly those where temperatures are cool enough for life, led by Professor David Kipping.
In this video, Professor Kipping discusses his lab’s discovery of exomoon Kepler-1625b-I in 2018. This is a Neptune-sized moon orbiting a Jupiter-sized planet that orbits about the same distant from its star as Earth orbits from our Sun. The video goes into the lab’s “Cool Giant Exomoon Survey” to locate additional exomoons orbiting Jupiter-sized cool giants further out from the host star. I do not want to give away the findings since you can see this for yourself, but it can be safely stated that a new exomoon candidate has been located (and shared in Nature). The exomoon’s designation is given away in the article’s title, so the secret is out.
Check out the Cool Worlds YouTube page for other fascinating videos.