That’s no moon! Scientists doubt proposed detection of the 1st exomoons

New research has a duo of scientists channeling Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: A New Hope regarding the proposed detection of two moons orbiting planets outside the solar system. In short, they’re not sure humanity’s first-ever exomoon detections are accurate. In fact, the same findings also showed that exomoons in general may only show themselves if they are extremely large.

The research demonstrates that, while there is no reason to suggest moons aren’t orbiting worlds in other planetary systems, finding them is a tricky business. In the three decades since the first detection of an extrasolar planet or “exoplanet,” the catalog of worlds around other stars has burgeoned with well over 5,000 examples confirmed to date. Yet, any possible extrasolar moons or “exomoons” orbiting these worlds have evaded astronomers.