Avatar moons may be science fact
Habitable alien moons like the one depicted in the blockbuster movie Avatar may become science fact within the next few years, according to a leading astronomer.
In the 3D film, a race of 10ft blue-skinned giants inhabits an Earth-like moon called Pandora.
Their world orbits a gas giant planet similar to Jupiter that cannot support life.
US astronomer and planet-hunter Lisa Kaltenegger, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, believes there is every chance a real-life version of Pandora exists and will soon be found.
She has conducted research showing that a planned new space telescope will be able to identify nearby "exomoons" and discover if they are habitable.
The American space agency Nasa`s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is due to be launched in 2014.
Dr Kaltenegger said: "If Pandora existed, we potentially could detect it and study its atmosphere in the next decade."
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