Status Report

In Search of Exomoons

By SpaceRef Editor
May 8, 2014
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In Search of Exomoons

David M. Kipping

(Submitted on 6 May 2014)

Two decades ago, astronomers began detecting planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, so-called exoplanets. Since that time, the rate of detections and the sensitivity to ever-smaller planets has improved dramatically with several Earth-sized planets now known. As our sensitivity dives into the terrestrial regime, increasingly the community has wondered if the moons of exoplanets may also be detectable, so-called “exomoons”. Their detection represents an outstanding challenge in modern astronomy and would provide deep insights into the uniqueness of our Solar System and perhaps even expand the definition of habitability. Here, I will briefly review theoretical studies exploring the formation and evolution of exomoons, which serve to guide observational searches and provide testable hypotheses. Next, I will outline the different methods which have been proposed to accomplish this challenging feat and their respective merits. Finally, initial results from observational efforts will be summarized with a view to future prospects as well.


18 pages, 5 figures; to appear in the proceedings for the Frank N. Bash Symposium 2013: New Horizons in Astronomy, held October 6-8, 2013 in Austin, TX


Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as:

arXiv:1405.1455 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1405.1455v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: David Kipping 

[v1] Tue, 6 May 2014 21:05:37 GMT (1284kb)



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