back to article 'Exomoonologist': NASA can detect forest moon of Endor

One of Blighty's top exomoonologists has said that NASA's new "Kepler" space telescope - in addition to its hotly-anticipated ability to discover habitable planets orbiting other stars - will also be able to detect habitable moons orbiting the gas giants of far-flung solar systems. David Kipping, an astronomer at University …


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  1. EddieD

    Pedant alert..


    Perlease - Exoselenology.


  2. 4HiMarks


    Given the tidal forces that would be exerted on the moon of a gas giant orbiting a star in the liquid-water zone, I don't think any intelligent life on one would be able to technologically advance enough to build a multi-story building, much less an interplanetary spacecraft.

    Inhabitalbe != capable of producing a spacefaring race

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine's the...

    ...long, brown trench-coat.

  4. Frostbite


    I thought his primary interest would have been cakes, after all they are all exceedingly nice!

  5. h 6


    "University College London?" Well, which is it? A university or a college? Is it like a alien extraterrestrial?

  6. Jason Togneri

    Exciting stuff indeed

    But exciting or otherwise, I have to ask: wouldn't the job title be "exolunologist"?

  7. Pete 6

    If we do find Endor

    Then I'll vote in favour of a pre-emptive strike using all of our nuclear arsenal. Damn ewoks.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Oh no no no...

    It doesn't work like that.

    When an astronomer says that a future instrument will detect X (his favourite thing), what he actually means is...

    If I hype it enough, I might get time on this instrument. That will provide me with an excuse to get a grant for some students. Assuming the instrument doesn't plummet to earth immediately after launch and all the lackeys who built it have done their calculations right, that will give me the rights to some of the data. When my students have analysed it, I'll be able to publish a paper speculating that X might possibly even exist, but (obviously) stating that further research is necessary to confirm this, etc., etc. and that a new, even bigger grant is needed to investigate further. Bla, bla, bla...

    So Kepler's just a sort of gravy train really, and Kipping wants to be on board.

  9. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    @h 6

    UCL is the original College of London University, the first higher education institute in the UK that took the view that you could be educated even if you weren't male and Church of England.

    Also known as the Godless Institute of Gower Street. One of the founders still attends meetings, at least, his head does, recorded in the minutes as "present but not voting".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fill your boots

    with what's going to be discovered soon

  11. Anonymous Coward

    That's no moon...

    its a space station.

    But seriously, Its a very exciting time to be a geek.

  12. Steven Raith

    "That's no moon..."

    Yeah, you know the rest.

    My coat is also a kind of a brown colour...

    Steven R

  13. Paul 4

    @h 6

    UCL. Look it up before trying to be clever.

  14. Rod MacLean

    Moon of Endor?

    Well, he's buggered his chances of getting a bigger grant there - we won't need to spend money on expensive research equipment - all we need is a Jedi to sense it's presence using the force.

  15. Big Bear

    Sorry, had to be said...

    "That's not a moon...."

    @h6 - UCL is a University, but is also a college of the larger University of London, of which it was one of the founding members alongside King's College, London (also a university) in 1836. It claims to be the third oldest university in England, and is considered to be one of the best ones in the country.

    *Disclaimer: I didn't go there... never even thought to apply!

  16. Belvedere Mulholland

    It all adds up...

    From the media last week:

    "The Dutch national museum said Thursday that one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood."

  17. Tom Haczewski

    That's no moon...'s a moon-seeking space telescope.

  18. Alex 32

    "Mine's the long, brown trench-coat.." - BSTL

    "BAM said the Lady!" :o)

  19. omega

    @ Allan George Dyer

    "At least his head does..."

    Is that Futurama style?

    Coat? Mines the one with the headless robot to put my jar on top of...

  20. Yorkshirepudding


    break out the AT-ST's!!!! oh hang on...

  21. Michael Dunn


    No, Jason Exo is a Greek prefix, luna is a Latin word and ology is a Greek suffix, so as pointed out above it would be exoselenologist, or exofengariologist.

    Mineś the one with the pedant badge on the lapel.

  22. ratfox

    Moon of Endor?

    Is that where the real Amulet of Yendor is?

    Mine's the one with a rubber chicken in the pocket...

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