The discovery of a new exoplanet today is no longeris important news. Almost 25 years have passed since the discovery of the first planet outside the solar system, during which more than 4,000 planets were revolved around alien stars. At the same time, scientists are sure that in our galaxy there are even more planets than stars, and if we take into account that most of these planets have satellites, then the probability of the origin of life on at least one of these celestial bodies seems to us incredibly high.
Can life arise on the satellite of an exoplanet?
If an alien observer usingIf the telescope could see our solar system, then he probably would have thought that in our star system there are only a few gas giants - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, because of the size of which they are easiest to detect from a long distance. Given that the crushing pressure in the atmosphere of gas giants makes them less acceptable for life, a hypothetical observer is unlikely to consider the solar system a potentially habitable place. At the same time, an alien observer may well have a desire to look for life on the moons of the planets he discovered, which, as many of us know, in the solar system can count a huge number. If so, then why don't we start our search for life on the moons of exoplanets?
See also: 10 facts about the search for extraterrestrial life
When the first exoloon was discovered in 2017Kepler-1625b, revolving around the gas giant, the discovery made a splash in the scientific world, forcing to review the previous beliefs of astronomers about the discovery of exoplanets and their moons.
Earth analogues revolving around the sun-likestars, it’s very difficult to detect even with large telescopes. The task becomes a little easier if the parent star is less massive, but in this case the planet should be closer to the star in order to be warm enough and be able to keep water in a liquid state. A planet located close to a star has every chance of becoming a gravitationally captured object due to the powerful attraction of its star, risking becoming a lifeless stone with the roasted side forever turned to the Sun. At the same time, gas giants revolving around sun-like stars may well have rocky moons, which may be the most likely places to look for life.
When in 2018 two astronomers from Colombianof the university reported the first preliminary observation of an exosatellite orbiting a planet located outside the solar system, scientists were struck by the size of the moon they discovered. So, the exoloon orbiting the planet Kepler-1625b is much more massive than any open moon found in the solar system. The discovered object has a mass similar to Neptune, and rotates around a planet similar in size to Jupiter.
As you know, the satellites of such planets as Jupiter andSaturn, have a mass of only a few percent of the mass of the Earth. However, the new exoloon is almost a thousand times larger than the corresponding bodies of our solar system, even such large moons as Ganymede and Titan, which revolve around Jupiter and Saturn. It is very difficult to explain the formation of such a large satellite using modern models of the formation of the moon, but scientists believe that the discovered exoloon is an object captured by a larger planet.
Viewed in this context, capturedthe planet is unlikely to be habitable. The fact is that large and heavy planets do not have any surface, except for a solid ice core, as on Uranus and Neptune. Due to the fact that studying the nuclei of giant planets is very difficult due to the enormous pressure of huge masses of hydrogen and helium, studying the properties of the discovered exoloon can help researchers understand what Jupiter looked like billions of years ago, even before he managed to acquire his modern sizes.
Although the Kepler-1625 systemlocated at a distance of 4000 light years from the Sun, the discovery of the planet revolving around this distant star of the planet and its giant exosatellite is a real victory for modern technology. Over time, when the capabilities of the telescopes will be significantly expanded, there is a greater likelihood that even more exoluns may well be found in the detected system. In the meantime, this historic event has not happened yet, let's wait for it together in our Telegram chat or on the Yandex.Zen channel.