Artist’s conception of two extrasolar moons orbiting a giant gaseous planet.
CREDIT: R. Heller, AIP

Alien Moons May Be Easier to Photograph Than Planets

by Nola Taylor Redd, SPACE.com Contributor
Date: 02 February 2013 Time: 09:08 AM ET

Scientists looking for habitable worlds to photograph could have better luck searching for moons than for alien planets, scientists say. A moon heated by the pull of its parent planet could be visible even when the planet is hidden from view.

Powered by gravitational tugging from a planet, these exomoons would remain bright throughout their lifetimes, not just in their youth. This means stars of various ages could be hosting planets with photogenic moons.

“Unlike traditional direct imaging, there’s no star that would be a bad candidate,” researcher Mary Anne Peters told SPACE.com.

Read more:Alien Moons Potentially Easier to Photograph Than Planets | Space.com.

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