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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Kate Follette, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Seeing the formation of exoplanet moons and more.
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John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Kate Follette to discuss the recent discoveries by astronomers seeing disks forming around a distant exoplanet suggesting a moon in the progress of being created. You can read about this on the internet but for this discussion, John and I referenced a NY Times article, "Astronomers See Moons Forming in Disk Around Distant Exoplanet" by Robin George Andrews posted on July 23, 2021. You can read the article and see the photo we discussed at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/23/science/exoplanet-moon-disc.html. Note there are many other news stories you can read about this discovery. During our single session Hotel Mars program, we talked with Dr. Follette (she was quoted in the NY Times article) about this process. One question I asked was why astronomers assumed this was a moon in the making. Don't miss how she answered that question. The same for a later question as to why no exoplanet moon had yet been found. Again, don't miss her answer. Dr. Follette talked quite a bit about moon formation, even why Earth's moon was different. We also talked about moons in our solar system, some of which might be able to support some level of basic life. In addition, our guest discussed new telescopes coming on line with added and needed sensitivity plus she told us how the discovery from a few years ago was made re Star PDS70 and its associates. We concluded the short segment by looking ahead to finding exoplanet Earth like planets and seeing earth from an exoplanet.
Please post your comments/questions for this discussion on our blog for this show.
You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Kate Follette through me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Kate Follette can be reached through her Amherst University faculty page or personal website, http://www.katefollette.com. Dr. Follette also has a special lab website, http://follettelab.com.