People that know me know that I'm into astronomy. I'm especially interested in new discoveries, which includes the Kepler mission searching for exoplanets in the Milky Way (planets orbiting other stars). So far, nearly 2,000 exoplanets have been discovered, with over 4,000 planet candidates waiting to be confirmed. AMAZING!!
Key among these discoveries are earth-like worlds, orbiting within the "habitable zone" of their host star. These planets could support liquid water, and along with it, life. Many planets orbiting in the habitable zone turn out to be gas giants, which cannot support life as we know it. However, those planets could have moons that can. This project illustrates one such scenerio. We do not yet have the technology to discover exomoons, however I expect many advances will be made in the coming decades.
This is an impression of the gas giant planet Gliese 687 b, with a hypothetical earth-like moon. Gliese 687 b orbits in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star, much smaller and cooler than our sun. This system is about 15 light years away from Earth. I am planning to do many more projects like this, stay tuned for more in the "Exoplanet Series"!