How would we be able to detect Exomoons? We detect exoplanets by seeing if the light gets faint from a star, but could we really use the same method for determining if there is an exomoon around that exoplanet? Thanks for your thoughts and answers!


1 Answer 1


I'm going to try to take a stab at answering this. With our current technologies, detecting exomoons can prove hard however there are various techniques being used today such as:

  1. Analyzing data from the Kepler Spacecraft
  2. Dynamic effects – the exomoon tugs the planet, which causes deviations in the times and durations of the host planet’s transits. This is similar to the radial velocity technique for detecting exoplanets. Source: UniverseToday
  3. Transit effects – the exomoon may transit the star immediately before or just after the planet does. This will cause an added dip in the observed light. See this video for a great demonstration. This is similar to the light curve technique for detecting exoplanets. Source: UniverseToday
  4. Gravitational Microlensing - which is a technique used to detect exoplanets like you stated above however it may also reveal signs of an exomoon. Read this source

I found this information doing some simple googling, feel free to edit or add to.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if there can be a vertical measurable component based on the orbital path of the exoplanet. Likely part of your Dynamic Effects reseaech, but with attention to vertical telemetry distortion readings when inline transit data which can be measured. Thanks for posting. Likely earth like planets in the habitable zone with moons have the greatest chance of earth-like life. $\endgroup$
    – user14467
    Oct 6, 2016 at 3:56

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