Did We Find Exomoons or Not? The Question Lingers.

Does Kepler-1708b have an exomoon? Scientists disagree. Image Credit: NASA

Do exoplanets have exomoons? It would be extraordinary if they didn’t, but as with all things, we don’t know until we know. Astronomers thought they may have found exomoons several years ago around two exoplanets: Kepler-1625b and Kepler-1708b. Did they?

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The Kepler Mission’s Final Three Planets?

With the help of citizen scientists, astronomers discovered what may be the last three planets that the Kepler Space Telescope saw before it was retired. This illustration depicts NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which retired in October 2018, and three planets discovered in its final days of data. Image Credit: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft ended its observations in October 2018 after nine and a half years, a solid six years beyond its planned duration. It discovered 2,711 confirmed exoplanets and another 2,056 exoplanet candidates as of August 2022.

Now, astronomers at MIT and the University of Wisconsin uncovered three more exoplanets in the data from Kepler’s final days of observations. They needed the help of dedicated amateurs to do it.

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