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A new way to detect alien moons

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A new way to detect alien moons

Astronomers have discovered more than 1800 planets around other stars—exoplanets—but so far no exomoons. Current detection methods just aren’t sensitive enough, but a team at the University of Texas, Arlington, report this week in The Astrophysical Journal a method for detecting moons using radio waves. The team studied radio emissions produced by interactions between charged particles around the planet Jupiter and similar particles around its moon Io. Future, more sensitive radio telescopes may be able to pick up similar emissions between exoplanets and their satellites.

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