NASA scientists have been able to detect the presence of exoplanets, the ones which are present outside the Solar System, using specialized equipment, such as the Kepler Space Telescope. However, even with thousands of these planets being discovered, researchers have been unable to find trace of any moons orbiting around them. Now, new studies have yielded what researchers believe to be the evidence of these exomoons.

Exomoon discovered?

A group of astronomers studying the existence of these moons from the University of Colombia claimed that they may have unearthed data that these moons really do exist.

They said that they were able to pinpoint one of these exomoons almost 4,000 light years away from the Earth. The researchers went over old data collected by the Kepler telescope and found something which they think indicates the presence of the moon.

When the moon passes in front of a planet in a far away system, the telescope can detect a slight difference in the light emitted from these bodies. This light has been extensively studied and could be showing the presence of a moon orbiting the planet. However, to confirm their theories, the team will study the same planet using the Hubble telescope, which is even more powerful than the Kepler one used previously. The findings were established in a system formed around the Kepler-1625 star.

Why exomoon spotting is so tough

Previous studies have also claimed to have found evidence of Exomoon activity, but in most cases these assertions were later found to be false. Researchers explained what really makes spotting a moon on in a system 4,000 light years away so difficult. Most moons are much smaller than the planet it orbits and thus its passing in front of the planet does not really affect the light that the telescope picks up.

However, in this case, the moon is believed to be the size of Neptune, which is quite large, and may be big enough to cause the difference in light.

Many people may believe that finding moons outside the solar system may be a pointless pursuit. However, researchers have pointed out that this difficult endeavor is just as essential as discovering new planets.

Some moons can support the conditions needed for life to flourish. In the solar system itself, the presence of such moons as Enceladus and Europa have proved that water may be present in moons as well. The team will now get on the Hubble telescope and verify whether the exomoon they claim to have discovered really does exist.