Detections of massive extrasolar moons are shown feasible with the Kepler space telescope. Kepler's findings of about 50 exoplanets in the stellar habitable zone naturally make us wonder about the habitability of their hypothetical moons. Illumination from the planet, eclipses, tidal heating, and tidal locking distinguish remote characterization of exomoons from that of exoplanets. We show how evaluation of an exomoon's habitability is possible based on the parameters accessible by current and near-future technology.
Rene Heller (1), Rory Barnes (2,3) ((1) Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), Germany, (2) University of Washington, Seattle, USA, (3) NASA Astrobiology Institute, VPL Lead Team, USA)
(Submitted on 18 Oct 2012)
Comments: submitted as Proceedings to the XXVIII IAU General Assembly (2012, Beijing), 6 pages, 3 colored figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1210.5172v1 [astro-ph.EP]
From: Rene Heller [view email]
[v1] Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:21:47 GMT (3447kb)