Breakthrough for Exomoon Hunting

  • Published on: 12 December 2020
  • Exomoons represent an oustanding challenge in modern astronomy. The quest for their detection has been a topic central to Cool Worlds' mission and methods developed a decade ago have largely guided that effort. But after years of trying, we have been revisiting these methods and have an exciting breakthrough to share with you all - a new hope for finding exomoons.

    You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University:

    Get Stash here!

    Thank-you to K. Clark, T. Widdowson, D. Smith, S. Hackley, M. Sloan, L. Sanborn, K. Kantor, P. Herman, A. Aganbegyan, C. Bottaccini, D. Brunk, D. Daughaday, S. Fincher, J. Kindred, A. Jones, J. Allen, S. Baldwin, J. Black, S. Brownlee, S. Chaturvedi, D. Denholm, T. Dorais, G. Downton, E. Urrestarazu, G. Fulton, S. Griffiths, P. Halloran, J. Jurcevic, N. Kildal, J. Kobernick, W. Kobernick, V. Kremer, M. Lijoi, S. Loftin, B. Loizides, A. Maslyanchuk, B. Matson, O. Mcintyre, L. Mitchell, A. Pelletier, J. Rivillas, B. Robinson, Z. Star, L. Steely, E. Stefan-Matyus, M. Steven, E. West, B. York, T. Zajonc, P. Gowd, S. Kelsey, P. Kommareddy, C. Wolfred, D. Vennel, E. Dessoi, F. Naeem, F. Rebolledo, H. Laging, J. Falls, J. Adams, M. Gremillion, P. Rutherford, T. Kline, T. Leger, L. Skov, D. Roberts, E. Wilson, I. Baskerville, J. Bassnett, J. Shackleford, M. Undin, M. Kroebel, I. Johnstone, G. Suter, I. Hopcraft, J. Valdes, P. Akrill-Misso, W. Robertson, E. Orman, G. Ingham, D. Hecke, J. Pilloff, T. Bernhard, D. Dianovszki, E. Cook, S. Mass, T. Richards, T. Lancaster, C. Stouffer, G. Benson, A. Vaal, C. Diamantis, J. Wenzel, M. Elliott, M. Wallstab, S. Bialek, B. Thomson, B. Daniluk, B. Bowen & D. Jacobson.

    ::The new paper is here::
    ► Kipping, D., 2020, "The Exomoon Corridor: Half of all exomoons exhibit TTV frequencies within a narrow window due to aliasing", MNRAS, 500, 1851:

    ► Sartoretti, P. & Schneider, J., 1999, "On the detection of satellites of extrasolar planets with the method of transits", A&AS, 134, 553:
    ► Kipping, D., 2009, "Transit timing effects due to an exomoon", MNRAS, 392, 181:
    ► Kipping, D., 2011, "LUNA: An algorithm for generating dynamic planet-moon transits", MNRAS, 416, 689:
    ► Kipping, D. et al., 2015, "The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK): V. A Survey of 41 Planetary Candidates for Exomoons", ApJ, 813, 14:
    ► Teachey, A. & Kipping, D., 2018, "Evidence for a large exomoon orbiting Kepler-1625b", Sci. Adv., 4, eaav1784:
    ► Martin, D. et al., 2019, "Transits of Inclined Exomoons- Hide and Seek and an Application to Kepler-1625", ApJL, 875, L25:

    ::Movies clips used::
    ► Avatar (2009) 20th Century Fox
    ► The Wolverine (2013) 20th Century Fox
    ► Another Earth (2011) Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ► The Imitation Game (2014) The Weinstein Company
    ► The Prisoners (2013) Warner Bros. Pictures
    ► Her (2013) Warner Bros. Pictures
    ► Limitless (2011) Relativity
    ► The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) New Line Cinema
    ► Avengers: Endgame (2019) Walt Disney Studios
    ► The Joker (2019) Warner Bros. Pictures
    ► Prospect (2018) DUST

    ::Other video footage used::

    Music used is licensed by (SS) [], or via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (, or with permission from the artist.
    ► "Arrival" by Joachim Heinrich licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Y" by Joachim Heinrich licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Cylinder Five" and "Cylinder Two" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Human Nature" by Hill, used with permission from the artist:
    ► "The Sun is Scheduled to Come Out Tomorrow" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Fragmented" by Hill, used with permission from the artist:
    ► "Painted Deserts" by Shimmer licensed via SS
    ► "Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Waking Up" by Atlas licensed via SS
    ► "Fusion" by Indive licensed under a CC Attribution license:

    0:00 Prologue
    0:55 Context
    3:34 Transit Timing Variations
    7:32 Transit Duration Variations
    11:05 Choices
    13:43 The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler
    20:53 TTVs Everywhere But Not A Drop To Drink
    26:54 Undersampling
    34:09 Credits

    #Exomoons #CoolWorlds
  • Runtime : 34:41
  • Exomoons Extrasolar moons exoplanets new exoplanet research new exomoon research exomoon breakthrough habitable exomoons astronomy space nasa nasa kepler nasa exoplanets nasa exomoons kipping cool worlds astrophysics


  • Cool Worlds
    Cool Worlds   7 months ago

    Many of you have asked don’t we already know exomoons must be out there based on their abundance in the solar system? To some degree yes but there are many unusual aspects of the solar system so moons could be far rarer in other systems potentially. But moons would be fascinating diverse objects potentially hosting life and so we really want to be able to study these fascinating worlds. Obviously a necessary first step in their study is their detection!

  • Hotrod Sonu London
    Hotrod Sonu London   16 hours ago

    Amazing, best regards, professor you are on the right track. You are living a dream 🙂.

  • Jarek Bylina
    Jarek Bylina   4 days ago

    All young scientists should watch this! :)

  • cyrilio
    cyrilio   5 days ago

    Sad that journals ask money for publishing an article. Don’t they make enough money as it is?

  • Steve Harvey
    Steve Harvey   1 weeks ago

    How about making a CD to purchase of all the wonderful background music to accompany Cool World posts ?

  • Jeoffatron
    Jeoffatron   1 weeks ago

    smoke coming from the chimney in the background looked weird. almost choppy?

  • Duke Childers
    Duke Childers   3 weeks ago

    Don’t know about the moon man but to me your like beast from X-men your a very smart beast keep up this amazing work and thank you for your content…

  • mm ss
    mm ss   3 weeks ago

    Awesome video. Sorry for naiive question: what's the sampling rate - hertz of the telescopes you use for this research?

  • Levi Clark
    Levi Clark   1 months ago

    Being laughed at and being called "that moon guy"?? we as a species think that we have discovered it all huh??? Man I love your specials as for the comments made by your so-called peers...I'd rather not say on such a brilliant channel.

  • Adam Cash
    Adam Cash   1 months ago

    It’s people like you David that push our human understanding forward. It’s inspiring and wonderful to listen to. You are the moon man and that’s the best compliment you could receive as you push forward where they follow. Long May it continue.

  • Gary Scanlon
    Gary Scanlon   1 months ago

    You have brought my waning interest in astronomy flooding back. Thank you!

  • joi0316
    joi0316   1 months ago

    I love listening to this. Thank you for sharing your amazing story. Warms my heart and I hope you find the courage and purpose to keep doing what you love ❤️

  • Golaz
    Golaz   1 months ago

    After we discovered exoplanets would'nt it be obvious there was also exomoons? Sounds ridicolus to me to think otherwise.

  • Battle Hamster
    Battle Hamster   1 months ago

    Dr. Dave could make rice cookies sound interesting. Great voice 👌

  • henrique raposo
    henrique raposo   1 months ago

    Dr Kipping I admire you deeply, for the person you are, you are pressistent, you are a great scientist, I wish i had you has teacher

  • Jeff Malfatti
    Jeff Malfatti   1 months ago

    Hello, first comment, but I love your channel !! I wish there were ten more like it. I realize your area of research is exomoons, but, somewhat related, do you hope to ever find a "binary planet" (meaning two planets of approximately equal size orbiting one another) in orbit around a star, in particular, a pair of planets large enough to have atmospheres and in the habitable zone? I haven't heard of any binary planets being found and am wondering if there is some reason why it's improbable. I hope you talk about this some time in one of your videos!

  • Chris Freitag
    Chris Freitag   1 months ago

    So happy I found this video. I remember as a kid the moon was my dream. Grew up and heard of Titan. After that Jupiter and Saturn were all I cared about simply because of their moons. This was inspiring to see.

  • Hapax Palindrome
    Hapax Palindrome   1 months ago

    As soon as the zoo of exoplanets started revealing all the gas giants out there my first thought was, look for the moons! The stellar object won't be the only place with a possible habitable zone in a solar system. And some of what we are thinking of as super Earth's, may be double planets which we just can't resolve yet.

  • Ben McReynolds
    Ben McReynolds   1 months ago

    Thank you for your dedication to science and discovery. This story was very humbling and makes me cherish the information that we now have and the effort it takes for some things to be done. ❤️ it's people like you that change the world and go down in books alongside Linus Pauling.

  • Ben McReynolds
    Ben McReynolds   1 months ago

    Science should be able to wander around and not be controlled by "what can be most profitable or financially beneficial." True scientific discovery greatness can and could create a new world that functions extremely efficiently and mutually beneficially to itself within our way of Life 🌍🧬🌍❤️🌍🧬🌍

  • Ben McReynolds
    Ben McReynolds   1 months ago

    Think of what we could accomplished if we didn't restrict research and development due to funding and or limited in successful outcomes in minimal attempts on discovery.

  • Gerard Fraser
    Gerard Fraser   1 months ago

    I don't get the sob story, how in the hell can some of the smartest people in the world not know that there are galaxies, solar system, planets, moons. Here is another hint ,there is life everywhere in the universe, glad someone found a moon though.I just found the whole story ridiculous,the struggle,the hardships, get bent ,you got free money to look for moons. I would say that's awesome,now I don't want to hurt your feelings ,so I still gave thumbs up though,I am just some nut on the internet.

  • CCW Baits And Tackle
    CCW Baits And Tackle   2 months ago

    Never give up on your dream, a lot of people take the easy path and then when it's too late they reflect on the what ifs. I am an amateur star gazer and what you are doing now is amazing, keep up the hard work, failure is only never to try. Really enjoy watching these videos, good luck for the future from a fellow Englishman 👌👍🌚

  • Red Ketchup
    Red Ketchup   2 months ago

    Hi ! I love your videos. While watching this one, searching for exomoons ... a few things came to my mind. We know Mercury and Venus is closer to the sun than the Earth. Do you think, if happended be the case, Mercury or Venus could succeed to keep their moon if happends to get one ? and not lose it cause they are too near of the Sun ? (like earth succeed to keep its moon). is there a minimum distance the planet needs to be to succeed to keep its moon ? If we look outyard, earth, mars, jupiter... they all have moons. but not inyard mercury and venus. So if only at a certain distance minimum from its sun, it also means a longer orbital period. Did we found a lot of exoplanets with an orbital period that is a lot more than the few days ? and more like 300ish days ? because what i said earlier, i doubt exoplanets with a few days can succeed to keep its moon.and i think to succeed to find exomoons, you need to check exoplanets within a certain range of orbital period.Thanks you for the video.

  • TVdinnermasterchef
    TVdinnermasterchef   2 months ago

    Great work; your hard graft might be about to pay off. Enjoy the successes, you've earned them

  • smokey04200420
    smokey04200420   3 months ago

    Why are you only looking for moons? You have the data that says it’s either a moon or a planet. You’re throwing away half of your data by publishing only moon findings and ignoring the data when it suggests you found a planet. If you defect both moons and planets, then you might be able to secure the funding that you are looking for.

  • Dedan Kabuga
    Dedan Kabuga   3 months ago

    This is riveting content akin to conversing with Einstein every few days. For some reason this reminds of 'Imitation Game' - the movie.

  • John Ryan
    John Ryan   3 months ago

    Its a problem of language. All celestial bodies are planets even if they revolve around a larger planet.

    WOJIE   3 months ago

    I wish I could volunteer to help go through exomoon data :) Maybe Consider naming an exomoon Robin? ;) (My real name) Mr. Kipping, Im sure you know this, and I'm probably not the first to tell you that, the sound of your voice, mixed with your story telling style mixed with your intelligence leaves me in awe after every video. :) Keep up the brilliant work, and yes I agree after almost 10 years at it myself, I'm still going after my ultimate dream. . :) Like you were... I'm at the point of reevaluating and seeing what i missed. Thank u again, this time for being the inspiration I needed to hear; unexpectedly.! #wojie (A lyricist (hiphop)/Spoken Word Artist) from Flint, Mi) PS: Please never stop uploading videos! :) <3

  • Sabi Ti
    Sabi Ti   4 months ago

    Why a new Exo telescope isn't planned pisses me off. A $1 billion telescope would be .1% of the DoD budget. I'm anti taxation, but for NASA? The only agency that has a purpose for humanity? I'll toss my money in the pot.

  • dR1923
    dR1923   4 months ago

    Could the age of that particular solar system not solve this problem? We look at the age of our own solar system. We know that our solar system has no planets wobbling around or close to other planets, which means the solar system somehow got balanced over time and is now fully stable. If we determine the age of the solar system where the candidates for exomoons are, and if that age is similar to the age of our own solar system (or older), could we not conclude that the solar system is fully stable and then exclude the possibility that other planets are causing the TTV for the planet we observe? Therefore only the explanation of an exomoon could remain possible.

  • David Fink
    David Fink   5 months ago

    That opening scene equating being denied a grant to being physically attacked and bashed with clubs is outrageous!