If you look up at the sky during night time, you will probably see our planet Earth’s natural satellite, called the ‘Moon’. But the other planets also have their moons. In a recent study, the researchers bagged the first exomoon or a moon that orbits around another star system’s planet. But what if now we discover a moon having its moon?
This scenario has caught the attention of astronomers, who are exploring such a possibility, coming up with a name that best describes these undiscovered objects. The best (or dumbest) possible name suggested by them is ‘moonmoon’ which has already become a hot topic of discussion on the internet.
The term has been suggested by astronomers Juna Kollmeier of the Carnegie Observations and Sean Raymond of Bordeaux University. Both the astronomers are currently working on yet-to-be-published paper named ‘Can Moons Have Moons?’ where they have discussed the possibility of a moon having its moon, although these are yet undiscovered objects.
In the paper, both Raymond and Kollmeier have explained how the two ran simulations to know whether moonmoon could occur, as per a report by Gizmodo. It was Kollmeier’s son who bought her attention to the question in the year 2014 and sparked research, the report further said.
Presently, the researchers have not discovered moonmoons in the solar system. The moonmoon is required to be at a closer distance to the moon to orbit around it due to the gravitational pull but not even too close as this would tear it apart by tidal forces.
This also means that there has to be just enough of distance between the planet and the moon so that the moon does not get snared due to the planet’s gravitational pull. However, regardless of the silly name, just the idea of these as-of-yet-undiscovered objects alone is enough to cast doubt on whether such a thing could be possible.