Hot moons and cool stars
1 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 University of Washington, Dept. of Astronomy, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3 Virtual Planetary Laboratory, USA
The exquisite photometric precision of the Kepler space telescope now puts the detection of extrasolar moons at the horizon. Here, we firstly review observational and analytical techniques that have recently been proposed to find exomoons. Secondly, we discuss the prospects of characterizing potentially habitable extrasolar satellites. With moons being much more numerous than planets in the solar system and with most exoplanets found in the stellar habitable zone being gas giants, habitable moons could be as abundant as habitable planets. However, satellites orbiting planets in the habitable zones of cool stars will encounter strong tidal heating and likely appear as hot moons.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013