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Have astronomers found 1st moon outside our solar system?

This illustration provided by Dan Durda shows the exoplanet Kepler-1625b with a hypothesized moon. On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, two Columbia University researchers reported their results that the potential exomoon would be the size of Neptune or Uranus. The exoplanet, about 8,000 light-years away, is as big as Jupiter. (Dan Durda via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system.

Two Columbia University researchers presented their tantalizing evidence Wednesday. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed.

The potential moon would be considerably larger than Earth — about the size of Neptune or Uranus. The planet it orbits is as big as mammoth Jupiter. This apparent super-size pairing of a gaseous moon and planet is 8,000 light-years away.

Study authors Alex Teachey and David Kipping say they may be able to validate this particular candidate as early as next year, with more views from the Hubble Space Telescope. In the meantime, they’re encouraging other scientists to join in.

Their findings appear in the journal Science Advances.

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