An artist’s impression of the exoplanet Kepler-1625b with the newly discovered exomoon in tow in this image released on Oct. 2, 2018. Courtesy Dan Durda/Handout via REUTERS
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Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system, a gas behemoth the size of Neptune. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed. Researchers Alex Teachey and David Kipping evaluated 284 planets outside our solar system that had already been discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Only one planet held promise for hosting a moon, one around the star known as Kepler-1625, which is about the size of our sun but older.So last October, the pair directed the Hubble Space Telescope at the star in an attempt to verify, or rule out, the possibility of a moon orbiting the planet Kepler-1625b. If indeed a moon, it would be about 3 million kilometers from its planet and appear twice as big in its sky, as the moon does in ours. The astronomers are uncertain how this potential moon might have formed, given its size.Kepler-1625b is the only planet found so far around this star.
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