A team of astronomers believe they have spotted the first moon outside our solar system.
Phys.org reports that the team lead by Dr. David Kipping, assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia University, has spotted what might be the first evidence of a moon orbiting an exoplanet. By harnessing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have identified an exomoon candidate, called Kepler-1625b.
“It would be a pretty big deal if this exomoon candidate turns out to be real, because it would be the first of its kind, and moons stand to tell us quite a bit about our solar system and other star systems,” Alex Teachey, a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow at Columbia University, who participated in the research, told Fox News via email. “This could provide vital clues about how star systems form and evolve, he added.
Kepler-1625b, which is orbiting the star Kepler-1625, is approximately 4,000 light years away, according to the report.
A light year, which measures distance in space, equals 6 trillion miles.
The BBC reports that the exomoon may have the size and mass of Neptune, and is circling a planet about the size of Jupiter, but with 10 times the mass.