British astronomers have claimed that thousands of moons capable of supporting life, like those shown in the popular Star Wars’ flicks, could be scattered all over our galaxy, and are likely to be spotted by 2014.
A team at University College London hopes to track the habitable moons within the next five years, using a telescope launched by US space agency Nasa earlier this year to hunt out other planets.
According to lead astronomer Dr David Kipping, there are more than 12,500 stars within sight of Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope that have the potential for moons orbiting in areas of space where conditions could be favourable to life.
In fact, they have devised a new method for detecting moons in other solar systems — known as exomoons.
“For the first time, we have demonstrated that potentially habitable moons up to hundreds of light years away may be detected with current instrumentation. As we ran the simulations, even we were surprised that moons as small as one-fifth of the Earth’s mass could be spotted. …
“It seems probable that many thousands, possibly millions, of habitable exomoons exist in the Galaxy and now we can start to look for them,” ‘The Daily Telegraph’ quoted Dr Kipping as saying.
Getting there is half the fun.