NASA can thank its new James Webb space telescope for this discovery.
On Thursday, they announced that carbon monoxide had been detected2 In the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-39, a gas giant orbiting a star 700 light-years from Earth.
This observation gives us important insight into how the planet came into being and how it evolved, NASA wrote in a press release.
It was a special moment, which marked a milestone in exoplanet research, Zafar Rustamkulov, a Johns Hopkins graduate student involved in the observational work, says in the press release.
Exoplanets are planets located outside our solar system.
James Webb delivers
The instrument on a space telescope used for discovery is called a spectrometer. It examines the spectrum of light emitted by planets and helps scientists determine the composition of materials.
– It’s fun and it shows what a telescope can do. Astrophysicist and Romkabsel podcast host Eirik Newth says James Webb delivers on the discovery.
At the same time, he emphasizes that the discovery was expected, and that carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere is not necessarily a sign of life.
We take out carbon dioxide, but it can also come from many other processes. Either way, it shows that the system is capable of doing what it was sent for; To get a better overview of the chemical compositions in the atmospheres of exoplanets, Neuth says.
The astrophysicist thinks the most obvious question scientists should ask themselves now is what processes underlie the occurrence of carbon dioxide in WASP-39.
The entire world was hollowed out when this summer NASA released its “deepest and most accurate infrared image of the early universe – more than 13 billion years in time.”
The image is filled with thousands of galaxies and contains the most distant objects ever observed. With this picture, researchers’ view of the history of the universe has expanded significantly.
The James Webb Telescope has also shown us Brand new page Our largest planet, Jupiter.
The images were taken in July and show, among other things, the northern and southern parts of Jupiter, as well as the Great Red Spot, a storm system in the planet’s atmosphere that, by size, would have swallowed the Earth. .
We’ve never seen Jupiter like this before. The whole thing is incredible, said Emke de Pater of the University of California, who led the work on the observations.
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