January 27, 2023


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Now, WASP-39b is one of the planets outside our solar system that we know the most about

Now, WASP-39b is one of the planets outside our solar system that we know the most about

It is 700 light-years away and its atmosphere contains both water vapor and carbon dioxide.

One of the promises of the James Webb Space Telescope was that we would learn what is in the atmospheres of planets many light years away.

In theory, the James Webb telescope is so sensitive that it might be possible to detect life as we know it on other planets, According to astronomer HÃ¥kon Dahle.

Researchers can see if another planet’s atmosphere is similar to Earth’s and thus search for Earth-like life. You can read more about why the James Webb Telescope exists Too sensitive on forskning.no.

It hasn’t happened yet, but James Webb has made very precise measurements of the atmosphere of a planet about 700 light-years away. So it takes about 700 years for the light from this solar system to travel here.

In contrast, it takes eight minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth. You can read More about the speed of light here at forskning.no.

The planet is called WASP-39b and was found in 2011. It is described as a gas giant the size of Saturn, but much closer to its star. Here it is baked in the extremely strong sunlight from the star.

“warm saturn”

It is called “hot Saturn”, and it is only 7 million km from its star. In comparison, the nearest planet Mercury in the solar system is about 70 million km from the sun.

WASP-39b has also been given a scientific name, According to the International Astronomical Union. The plant is named after the beach, and is called bocaprinz.

The planet has been studied extensively, and a lot of water vapor in the atmosphere was already detected in 2018 with the help of the Hubble telescope, According to NASA.

But now there are several new findings about WASP-39b. It is now the most explored planet outside our solar system, according to Space.com.

This is roughly what the James Webb Space Telescope looks like in space. It is located far from Earth – outside the Moon’s orbit – and the large shield below protects it from sunlight and interference from Earth.

test for the future

In several studies, a whole series of new discoveries about WASP-39b have been made. The planet was examined using the James Webb’s onboard spectroscopy instrument, the technology that reveals what something is made of, Even if it is several light years away.

James Webb could search for light that passed through the atmosphere of this planet far away, and in this way reveal the chemicals in the atmosphere. in August 2022 It became known that scientists have measured carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Bucaprin.

This is the first time that carbon dioxide has actually been measured in the atmosphere of another planet outside the solar system.

The same applies to the measurement of sulfur dioxide Reported in a new research paper on the planet Bucaprinz. The article will be included in the journal Nature, according to the Max Planck Institute.

The sulfur dioxide is likely caused by the bright light from the star shining on the thick sulfur clouds, According to Space.com.

Many other chemical signatures may indicate something about how this gas giant came to be. Based solely on these chemical traces, astronomers think they can show that the giant planet formed far away in its solar system, then wandered inland toward its sun.

But all of these atmospheric measurements give hope for future research on other exoplanets, according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

This will help develop techniques and methods for more detailed measurements of exoplanet atmospheres.

Astronomer Laura Kreidberg of the Max Planck Institute believes that these early observations show the potential of the James Webb telescope.

confirms that the telescope worked very well even under difficult missions, According to the institute’s website.

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