As I imagined in Parasite Puppeteers, the second novel in the Green Comet trilogy, it’s possible that moons of gas giant exoplanets could be habitable. I imagined a moon like Jupiter’s moon, Europa, orbiting a gas giant in the habitable zone of its star. All that ice would be water, and on the Makers’ world that meant that they would be an aquatic species. Now the scientists studying the data from the Kepler telescope are compiling a list of giant exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones that might have exomoons capable of supporting life.
In a paper published June 13 in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Southern Queensland have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life.
“Including rocky exomoons in our search for life in space will greatly expand the places we can look.”
Scientists have speculated that exomoons might provide a favorable environment for life, perhaps even better than Earth. That’s because they receive energy not only from their star, but also from radiation reflected from their planet. Until now, no exomoons have been confirmed.
Obviously I’m not the only one who’s been thinking of this.