If you have seen the movie Avatar (if you are reading this blog I will assume that you have), then you know the mythical planet of Pandora seems to be orbiting a large gas giant planet.
Although the orbit doesn’t make a whole lot of scientific sense, the model is sound. Exomoons, by definition, orbit an exoplanet. However, just like the movie and perhaps our own Solar system, some of these moons may be capable of sustaining life where their parent planet cannot.
Saturn’s moon Titan is believed to be able to sustain life since we have found oceans of water underneath the frozen surface.
So the prospect of an exomoon harboring life is also plausible.
But how do you find an exomoon orbiting around an exoplanet parsecs away? Teams of scientists are currently working one methods to detect exomoons using the science developed hunting for exoplanets and data already gathered from Kepler.
So perhaps Pandora does exist, but I wouldn’t hold by breath of finding unobtainium anywhere in the Universe.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +