Possible first discovered exomoon

Started by Toliman, July 29, 2017, 01:31:35 PM

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Toliman

Giant doubts about giant exomoons
https://www.mpg.de/21217437/1205-aero-giant-doubts-about-giant-exomoons-151060-x?c=2249

Discovery of giant exomoons around the planets Kepler-1625b and Kepler-1708b called into question

Just as it can be assumed that the stars in our Milky Way are orbited by planets, moons around these exoplanets should not be uncommon. This makes it all the more difficult to detect them. So far, only two of the more than 5300 known exoplanets have been found to have moons. A new data analysis now demonstrates that scientific statements are rarely black or white, that behind every result there is a greater or lesser degree of uncertainty and that the path to a statement often resembles a thriller.


Toliman

Large planets may not form fractionally large moons
https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2312/2312.15050.pdf

One of the unique aspects of Earth is that it has a fractionally large Moon, which is thought to have formed from a Moon-forming disk generated by a giant impact. The Moon stabilizes the Earth's spin axis at least by several degrees and contributes to Earth's stable climate. Given that impacts are common during planet formation, exomoons, which are moons around planets in extrasolar systems, should be common as well, but no exomoon has been confirmed. Here we propose that an initially vapor-rich moon-forming disk is not capable of forming a moon that is large with respect to the size of the planet because growing moonlets, which are building blocks of a moon, experience strong gas drag and quickly fall toward the planet. Our impact simulations show that terrestrial and icy planets that are larger than ~1.3−1.6R⊕ produce entirely vapor disks, which fail to form a fractionally large moon. This indicates that (1) our model supports the Moon-formation models that produce vaporpoor disks and (2) rocky and icy exoplanets whose radii are smaller than ~1.6R⊕ are ideal candidates for hosting fractionally large exomoons.

Toliman


Toliman


Toliman

The spectroastrometric detectability of nearby Solar System-like exomoons
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2402.07517.pdf

Context. Though efforts to detect them have been made with a variety of methods, no technique can claim a successful, confirmed detection of a moon outside the Solar System yet. Moon detection methods are restricted in capability to detecting moons of masses beyond what formation models would suggest, or they require surface temperatures exceeding what tidal heating simulations allow.
Aims. We expand upon spectroastrometry, a method that makes use of the variation of the centre of light with wavelength as the result of an unresolved companion, which has previously been shown to be capable of detecting Earth-analogue moons around nearby exo-Jupiters, with the aim to place bounds on the types of moons detectable using this method.
Methods. We derived a general, analytic expression for the spectroastrometric signal of a moon in any closed Keplerian orbit, as well as a new set of estimates on the noise due to photon noise, pointing inaccuracies, background and instrument noise, and a pixelated detector. This framework was consequently used to derive bounds on the temperature required for Solar System-like moons to be observable around super-Jupiters in nearby systems, with ϵ Indi Ab as an archetype.
Results. We show that such a detection is possible with the ELT for Solar System-like moons of moderate temperatures (150-300 K) in line with existing literature on tidal heating, and that the detection of large (Mars-sized or greater) icy moons of temperatures such as those observed in our Solar System in the very nearest systems may be feasible.

Toliman

Large exomoons unlikely around Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-023-02148-w

Toliman

JWST Will Finally Hunt for Alien Moons—And Much More
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jwst-will-finally-hunt-for-alien-moons-and-much-more/

The next year of science for the James Webb Space Telescope has been selected. It includes remote galaxy observations and, at last, a hunt for exomoons

It's no secret that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the most advanced telescope in history. As such, demand to use it is high—incredibly high. Last week the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Maryland announced which programs it had picked to win some of the telescope's precious time in its third year of science observations. Beginning this July and officially called Cycle 3, JWST's latest solicitation received a record-breaking 1,931 proposals—the most ever for any space telescope in history. Such immense interest is "not surprising," says Christine Chen, an associate astronomer at STScI. "Basically, out of the box, everything has worked extremely well." With that popularity, there are winners and many more losers; only 253 proposals were selected.* But among the winners there is a wealth of exciting science, including surveys to look for the universe's first galaxies (JWST's primary forte), studies of possibly life-harboring exoplanets and, for the first time, an attempt to leverage JWST's power to find exomoons—natural satellites orbiting worlds beyond the solar system.

Toliman

#47
On the Impact and Utility of Single-Exomoon Modeling for Multi-Moon Systems
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2402.17324.pdf

The search for exomoons in time-domain photometric data has to-date generally consisted of fitting transit models that are comprised of a planet hosting a single moon. This simple model has its advantages, but it may not be particularly representative, as most of the major moons in our Solar System are found in multi-moon satellite systems. It is critical that we investigate, then, the impact of applying a single-moon model to systems containing multiple moons, as there is the possibility that utilizing an inaccurate or incomplete model could lead to erroneous conclusions about the system. To that end, in this work we produce a variety of realistic multimoon light curves, perform standard single-moon model selection, and analyze the impacts that this model choice may have on the search for exomoons. We find that the number of moons in a system fit with a single-moon model generally has little impact on whether we find evidence for a moon in that system, and other system attributes are individually not especially predictive. However, the model parameter solutions for the moon frequently do not match any real moon in the system, instead painting a picture of a "phantom" moon. We find no evidence that multi-moon systems yield corresponding multi-modal posteriors. We also find a systematic tendency to overestimate planetary impact parameter and eccentricity, to derive unphysical moon densities, and to infer potentially unphysical limb darkening coefficients. These results will be important to keep in mind in future exomoon search programs.

Toliman

Magnetic field of gas giant exoplanets and its influence on the retention of their exomoons
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2402.07387.pdf

We study the magnetic and tidal interactions of a gas-giant exoplanet with its host star and with its exomoons, and focus on their retention. We briefly revisit the scaling law for planetary dynamo in terms of its mass, radius and luminosity. Based on the virial theorem, we construct an evolution law for planetary magnetic field and find that its initial entropy is important for the field evolution of a high-mass planet. We estimate the magnetic torques on orbit arising from the star-planet and planetmoon magnetic interactions, and find that it can compensate tidal torques and bypass frequency valleys where dynamical-tide response is ineffective. For exomoon's retention we consider two situations. In the presence of a circumplanetary disk (CPD), by comparison between CPD's inner and outer radii, we find that planets with too strong magnetic fields or too small distance from its host star tend not to host exomoons. During the subsequent CPD-free evolution, we find, by comparison between planet's spindown and moon's migration timescales, that hot Jupiters with periods of several days are unlikely to retain large exomoons, albeit they could be surrounded by rings from the debris of tidally disrupted moons. In contrast, moons, if formed around warm or cold Jupiters, can be preserved. Finally, we estimate the radio power and flux density due to the star-planet and planet-moon magnetic interactions and give the upper limit of detection distance by FAST.

Toliman


Toliman

Large exomoons unlikely around Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-023-02148-w

There are more than 200 moons in our Solar System, but their relatively small radii make similarly sized extrasolar moons very hard to detect with current instruments. The best exomoon candidates so far are two nearly Neptune-sized bodies orbiting the Jupiter-sized transiting exoplanets Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b, but their existence has been contested. Here we reanalyse the Hubble and Kepler data used to identify the two exomoon candidates employing nested sampling and Bayesian inference techniques coupled with a fully automated photodynamical transit model. We find that the evidence for the Kepler-1625 b exomoon candidate comes almost entirely from the shallowness of one transit observed with Hubble. We interpret this as a fitting artefact in which a moon transit is used to compensate for the unconstrained stellar limb darkening. We also find much lower statistical evidence for the exomoon candidate around Kepler-1708 b than previously reported. We suggest that visual evidence of the claimed exomoon transits is corrupted by stellar activity in the Kepler light curve. Our injection-retrieval experiments of simulated transits in the original Kepler data reveal false positive rates of 10.9% and 1.6% for Kepler-1625 b and Kepler-1708 b, respectively. Moreover, genuine transit signals of large exomoons would tend to exhibit much higher Bayesian evidence than these two claims. We conclude that neither Kepler-1625 b nor Kepler-1708 b are likely to be orbited by a large exomoon.

Toliman

Direct detectability of tidally heated exomoons by photometric orbital modulation
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2405.02408

The highest priority recommendation of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey for space-based astronomy was the construction of an observatory capable of characterizing habitable worlds. In this paper series we explore the detectability of and interference from exomoons and exorings serendipitously observed with the proposed Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) as it seeks to characterize exoplanets, starting in this manuscript with Earth-Moon analog mutual events. Unlike transits, which only occur in systems viewed near edge-on, shadow (i.e., solar eclipse) and lunar eclipse mutual events occur in almost every star-planet-moon system. The cadence of these events can vary widely from ∼yearly to multiple events per day, as was the case in our younger Earth-Moon system. Leveraging previous space-based (EPOXI) lightcurves of a Moon transit and performance predictions from the LUVOIR-B concept, we derive the detectability of Moon analogs with HWO. We determine that Earth-Moon analogs are detectable with observation of ∼2-20 mutual events for systems within 10 pc, and larger moons should remain detectable out to 20 pc. We explore the extent to which exomoon mutual events can mimic planet features and weather. We find that HWO wavelength coverage in the near-IR, specifically in the 1.4 µm water band where large moons can outshine their host planet, will aid in differentiating exomoon signals from exoplanet variability. Finally, we predict that exomoons formed through collision processes akin to our Moon are more likely to be detected in younger systems, where shorter orbital periods and favorable geometry enhance the probability and frequency of mutual events.

Toliman

Exomoons & Exorings with the Habitable Worlds Observatory I: On the Detection of Earth-Moon Analog Shadows & Eclipses
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2405.02408

The highest priority recommendation of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey for space-based astronomy was the construction of an observatory capable of characterizing habitable worlds. In this paper series we explore the detectability of and interference from exomoons and exorings serendipitously observed with the proposed Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) as it seeks to characterize exoplanets, starting in this manuscript with Earth-Moon analog mutual events. Unlike transits, which only occur in systems viewed near edge-on, shadow (i.e., solar eclipse) and lunar eclipse mutual events occur in almost every star-planet-moon system. The cadence of these events can vary widely from ∼yearly to multiple events per day, as was the case in our younger Earth-Moon system. Leveraging previous space-based (EPOXI) lightcurves of a Moon transit and performance predictions from the LUVOIR-B concept, we derive the detectability of Moon analogs with HWO. We determine that Earth-Moon analogs are detectable with observation of ∼2-20 mutual events for systems within 10 pc, and larger moons should remain detectable out to 20 pc. We explore the extent to which exomoon mutual events can mimic planet features and weather. We find that HWO wavelength coverage in the near-IR, specifically in the 1.4 µm water band where large moons can outshine their host planet, will aid in differentiating exomoon signals from exoplanet variability. Finally, we predict that exomoons formed through collision processes akin to our Moon are more likely to be detected in younger systems, where shorter orbital periods and favorable geometry enhance the probability and frequency of mutual events.

Toliman

The Limited Role of the Streaming Instability During Moon and Exomoon Formation
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2404.18145

It is generally accepted that the Moon accreted from the disk formed by an impact between the proto-Earth and impactor, but its details are highly debated. Some models suggest that a Mars-sized impactor formed a silicate melt-rich (vapor-poor) disk around Earth, whereas other models suggest that a highly energetic impact produced a silicate vapor-rich disk. Such a vapor-rich disk, however, may not be suitable for the Moon formation, because moonlets, building blocks of the Moon, of 100 m-100 km may experience strong gas drag and fall onto Earth on a short timescale, failing to grow further. This problem may be avoided if large moonlets (≫ 100 km) form very quickly by streaming instability, which is a process to concentrate particles enough to cause gravitational collapse and rapid formation of planetesimals or moonlets. Here, we investigate the effect of the streaming instability in the Moon-forming disk for the first time and find that this instability can quickly form ∼ 100 km-sized moonlets. However, these moonlets are not large enough to avoid strong drag and they still fall onto Earth quickly. This suggests that the vapor-rich disks may not form the large Moon, and therefore the models that produce vapor-poor disks are supported. This result is applicable to general impactinduced moon-forming disks, supporting the previous suggestion that small planets (< 1.6R⊕) are good candidates to host large moons because their impact-induced disks would be likely vapor-poor. We find a limited role of streaming instability in a satellite formation in an impact-induced disk, whereas it plays a key role during planet formation.

Toliman

The Most Common Habitable Planets III – Modeling Temperature Forcing and Surface Conditions on Rocky Exoplanets and Exomoons
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2404.17448

Small rocky planets, as well as larger planets that suffered extensive volatile loss, tend to be drier and have thinner atmospheres as compared to Earth. Such planets probably outnumber worlds better endowed with volatiles, being the most common habitable planets. For the subgroup of fast rotators following eccentric orbits, atmospheres suffer radiative forcing and their heat capacity provides a method for gauging atmospheric thickness and surface conditions. We further explore the model presented in a previous paper and apply it to real and hypothetical exoplanets in the habitable zone of various classes of stars, simulating atmospheric and orbital characteristics. For planetary eccentricities e ∼0.3, the forcing-induced hypothetical temperature variation would reach ∼ 80 K for airless planets and ∼ 10 K for planets with substantial atmospheres. For Kepler-186 f and Kepler-442 b, assuming e ∼0.1, temperature variations can reach ∼ 24 K. We also consider habitable exomoons in circular orbits around gas giants within the habitable zone, which suffer radiative forcing due to their epicyclic motion. We study several combinations of parameters for the characterization of planets (mass, eccentricity and semi-major axis) and exomoons (mass, orbital radius, albedo and atmospheric characteristics) for different stellar types. For e ∼0.3, exomoon temperature varies up to ∼ 90 K, while for ∼0.6 variations can reach ∼ 200 K. Such exomoons may plausibly retain their volatiles by continued volcanic activity fueled by tidal dissipation. Although currently undetectable, such effects might be within reach of future Extremely large Telescope-class telescopes and space missions with mid-infrared and coronagraphic capabilities.