I'm really curious to know what this object will be like." While there are several new planet-hunting telescopes joining astronomy in the next decade, Heller said they are not optimized for exomoons.Searching for exomoons is financially risky and the payoff highly uncertain, which means it is likely to remain a low priority for the astronomical community.
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(This tidal heating would be most pronounced if the moon had an eccentric orbit, like the volcanic moon Io has around Jupiter.) It's know that tidal heating rates decrease if a moon is molten inside, because lava creates an inherent negative feedback mechanism where the heating sort of switches off, and the moon cools down inside.
This is called the "tidal thermostat effect," co-author of the paper Rene Heller said in an email.
Heller is an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany.
"We investigate, for the first time, the interplay of all the possible exomoon heat sources as a function of various distances from the host star," he added.
Nevertheless, there's a lot that you can see with a telescope for kids or very modest equipment or even with just your own eyes.
Past generations of people found beauty and a sense of wonder contemplating the night sky.
The James Webb Space Telescope, a multi-purpose telescope which launches in 2018, is expected to look at only a few exoplanets - so its chances of finding an exomoon are low, Heller said.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which also launches next year, will only observe very short-period transiting planets.