17
Sep 2011

Have we found a potential “forest moon?”

POSTED BY: S. DOMAGAL-GOLDMAN
 

Based on some conversations I’ve had with others (that are also NOT in the know), I’ll offer up another possibility for what the Kepler team might announce at their press conference later today… the first discovery of an exo-moon. It could even be an Earth-sized moon orbiting a gas giant. Sound familiar? That would certainly explain the presence of John Knoll, from Lucas Arts’ Industrial Light and Magic. One of the major “planets” in the Star Wars canon – Endor – is a jungle moon orbiting a gas giant. It would also explain the presence of Laurance Doyle as the “lead author” on the announce work. Dr. Doyle was wrote a paper discussing how Kepler could detect the presence of exo-moons. Finally, I remember seeing a talk where someone showed that the instrument noise of Kepler was low enough to detect Earth-sized moons in orbit around gas giants. Based on all this, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing lots of images like this later today, with the “planet Endor” seen in the sky and from the ground of the “forest moon of Endor.”

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