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Catalog – Tech-Science – Webb Space Telescope finds carbon dioxide on an alien planet

Catalog - Tech-Science - Webb Space Telescope finds carbon dioxide on an alien planet

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has detected carbon dioxide on a planet 700 light-years away. WASP-39b is a hot gas giant with the mass of Saturn but the size of Jupiter studied by the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Previously, the presence of water, sodium and potassium in the atmosphere was detected.

WASP-39b was examined on July 10, two days before Webb’s first images were published.

This is the first time that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet can be accurately measured. With the NIRSpec spectrometer used for the measurement, they can also examine the atmospheres of other rocky planets similar to Earth. Using these measurements, astronomers can estimate the total amount of carbon present on a planet, which shows the composition of the stellar system in which the celestial body formed.

The exoplanet community has been searching for traces of carbon dioxide for decades. Thanks to JWST’s outstanding capabilities, we can routinely search for carbon dioxide on hot Jupiters and cooler Earth-like planets.

– said Laura Kreidberg, director of the German Max Planck Institute, who published a scientific statement about the discovery.

WASP-39b orbits very close to its star and orbits it every four days.

(Space.com)

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