Avatar moons may be science fact

By December 21, 2009Newswires

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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