Kipping, now an astrophysicist at Columbia University, has developed a novel method to seek out exomoons. He and his colleagues sift through data from the Kepler telescope, and when they spot a promising exoplanet, they develop a mathematical model of what its orbit would look like if it had a moon pulling on it. They then compare that to orbital data. The sensitivity of the method should reveal satellites big enough to have an atmosphere and warm enough to support life. It could be that Earth-like moons are more common than Earth-like planets, which have turned out to be surprisingly rare. “It’s actually quite plausible that we are the freaks of the universe living on a planet, and that most life lives on a moon,” Kipping says.