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  On the Detection of Exomoons Transiting Isolated Planetary-mass Objects

Limbach, M. A., Vos, J. M., Winn, J. N., Heller, R., Mason, J. C., Schneider, A. C., et al. (2021). On the Detection of Exomoons Transiting Isolated Planetary-mass Objects. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 918: L25. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ac1e2d.

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 Creators:
Limbach, Mary Anne, Author
Vos, Johanna M., Author
Winn, Joshua N., Author
Heller, René1, Author           
Mason, Jeffrey C., Author
Schneider, Adam C., Author
Dai, Fei, Author
Affiliations:
1Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832287              

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Free keywords: Natural satellites (Extrasolar); Free floating planets; Transits; Exoplanets; Habitable zone
 Abstract: All-sky imaging surveys have identified several dozen isolated planetary-mass objects (IPMOs) far away from any star. Here we examine the prospects for detecting transiting moons around these objects. We expect transiting moons to be common, occurring around 10%–15% of IPMOs, given that close-orbiting moons have a high geometric transit probability and are expected to be a common outcome of giant planet formation. The IPMOs offer an advantage over other directly imaged planets in that high-contrast imaging is not necessary to detect the photometric transit signal. For at least 30 (>50%) of the currently known IPMOs, observations of a single transit with the James Webb Space Telescope would have low enough forecast noise levels to allow for the detection of an Io- or Titan-like moon. The intrinsic variability of the IPMOs will be an obstacle. Using archival time-series photometry of IPMOs with the Spitzer Space Telescope as a proof of concept, we found evidence for a fading event of 2MASS J1119–1137 AB that might have been caused by intrinsic variability but is also consistent with a single transit of a habitable-zone 1.7 R⊕ exomoon. Although the interpretation of this particular event is inconclusive, the characteristics of the data and the candidate signal suggest that Earth-sized habitable-zone exomoons around IPMOs are detectable with existing instrumentation.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ac1e2d
 Degree: -

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Title: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  Other : Astrophys. J. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 918 Sequence Number: L25 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215