A group of potentially habitable moons

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[EN VIDÉO] Direct observation of exomoon formation
The giant ALMA radio telescope has taken the first direct image of a moon formed around a very young giant planet.

When we think of astronomy among us solar systemWe usually think march. The red planet close to Earth has sheltered in the past waters of the kingdom liquid On the surface, this makes it an ideal candidate for the search for extraterrestrial life. But scientists are increasingly turning to research the moon Outer Solar System: Some, egEurope – its moon Jupiter – or ofEnceladus – its moon Sat – suspected to harbor a liquid inner ocean, which could potentially harbor life, thus pushing the search for extraterrestrial life living area one’s star system.

Gravitational interaction to warm the interior of the moon?

Far from it to understand the processes involved in forming a liquid ocean within a body the star, we can take the example of Europa, a satellite of Jupiter. herestrength The solar energy is too weak to sustain liquid water there, yet scientists strongly suspect the presence of one Inland Ocean. According to the researchers, it would be the gravitational interaction between the moon and its host planet, Jupiter, that would make it possible to form. the movement Inside Europa, and thus creating a layer of liquid water there to maintain temperatures high enough below the Moon’s surface: this is called the heating effect. the tide.

Given the relatively high number of moons likely to reside in an internal ocean in our solar system alone, scientists consider the possibility of observing similar multimoon systems elsewhere in our country. galaxy Quite high, push back the search for symptomsExobiology A star outside the system’s habitable zone. inside Study themScientists have noted that in multilunar systems, Resonance Orbital – for example when Orbital period A moon orbiting its host planet twice a second – can increase the occurrence of tidal heating between different moons. In some cases, these resonance events can increase the Moon’s eccentricity, increasing the warming effect. In the models used in the study, tidal heating could, in the most extreme theoretical case, heat the moon’s interior to more than 200 degrees Celsius, enough to orbit a moon. Exoplanet Terrestrial type in two to four days.

Gravitational interactions to stabilize a system?

But the gravitational interaction between two bodies can be different apps For the habitability of a system. In one well-known case, scientists suggest that the formation of the Moon played an important role in the presence of life on Earth by stabilizing its tilt. axial of our planet, allowing for the presence of a regular seasonal cycle. The heat induced by the interaction between the two bodies also plays a role in the movement between them. Earth’s coregenerated magnetic field that protects us from cosmic raysAnd that protects us the atmosphere Of solar wind. Thus, the gravitational interaction between a planet and its moon affects the habitability of both the moon and the planet.

These results have important applications in the search for life outside our solar system, including now the search for exomoons, which are very difficult to find. According to the authors of the study, the effects induced by the gravitational interaction between the exoplanet and its possible moon may be visible in other directions, potentially making the detection of exomoons easier.

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