James Webb telescope never ceases to amaze: CO2 detected in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

James Webb telescope discovered carbon dioxide in an exoplanet’s atmosphere, that is, a planet outside the solar system. CO2, an important component of the Earth’s atmosphere, was detected by the James Webb Space Telescope in the Earth’s atmosphere. OSA-39bexoplanet orbiting a star similar to Sunand about 700 light years from Land. For the first time, irrefutable evidence has been obtained for the presence of CO2 on an exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star. “The detection of such a clear carbon dioxide signal on Wasp-39b bodes well for detecting atmospheres on smaller planets,” he said Natalie Batalha University California to Santa Cruz, leading a team of researchers studying the atmosphere of exoplanets using the Webb telescope. “Once we saw the data, it was clear that this was an impressive discovery,” he said instead. Dominique Petit dit de la Rochescientist at the University of Geneva and co-author of the study.

When a planet passes directly in front of its star, some of its light passes through the celestial body before reaching the telescope. “The atmosphere at that moment filters some colors more than others,” he explained. Monica Lendl, professor at Unige, and co-author of the study. And by using the James Webb telescope to decompose light into its colors, “it was possible to characterize the various gases that make up the atmosphere,” Lendl explained. With this method, it was possible to detect a kind of “fingerprint” of CO2 in the light passing through the atmosphere of WASP-39b.

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The definite identification of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere of exoplanets is a fundamental step in the search for systems that could or could host various forms of life. As explained Mike Line Arizona State University, thanks to this kind of discovery, “we can determine how much solid or gaseous material was used to form a planet: in the next decade, Webb will take this measurement for many planets, providing detailed information on how they form and on the uniqueness of our solar system “. In short, the importance of this last discovery lies in the fact that, by studying its constituent elements, one can better understand the origin and evolution of not only the cosmos, but also reformulate – perhaps – better the origin of our atoms, posterior. After all, as the song says, the universe never dies.

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James Webb telescope never ceases to amaze: CO2 detected in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

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