PanamaTimes

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

NASA's Webb Space Telescope Finds Carbon Dioxide In Exoplanet Atmosphere

NASA's Webb Space Telescope Finds Carbon Dioxide In Exoplanet Atmosphere

The detection of CO2 will also help scientists learn more about how WASP-39 formed, NASA said in a press release.
The months-old James Webb Space Telescope has added another major scientific discovery to its growing list: detecting for the first time signs of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.

Although the exoplanet would never be able to support life as we know it, the successful discovery of CO2 gives researchers hope that similar observations could be carried out on rocky objects more hospitable to life.

"My first thought: wow, we really do have a chance to detect the atmospheres of terrestrial-size planets," tweeted Natalie Batalha, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz and one of hundreds who worked on the Webb project.

Their study of exoplanet WASP-39, a hot gas giant closely orbiting a star 700 light years away, will soon be published in the journal Nature.

"For me, it opens a door for future research on super-Earths (planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune), or even Earth-sized planets," Pierre-Olivier Lagage, an astrophysicist with France's Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), told AFP.

The detection of CO2 will also help scientists learn more about how WASP-39 formed, NASA said in a press release. The exoplanet, which orbits its star once every four Earth days, has a mass one-quarter that of Jupiter but a diameter 1.3 times bigger.

The frequency of its orbit and large atmosphere made WASP-39 an ideal candidate for an early test of Webb's state-of-the-art infrared sensor, known as NIRSpec.

Each time the exoplanet crosses in front of its star, it blocks out an almost imperceptible amount of light.

But around the edges of the planet, a tiny amount of light passes through the atmosphere.

Webb's highly sensitive NIRSpec can detect the small changes that the atmosphere has on the light, allowing scientists to determine its gas composition.

The Hubble and Spitzer telescopes had already detected water vapor, sodium and potassium in WASP-39's atmosphere, but carbon dioxide can now be added to that list thanks to Webb and its NIRSpec instrument.

"It was a special moment, crossing an important threshold in exoplanet sciences," said Zafar Rustamkulov, a Johns Hopkins University researcher, in the NASA press release.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×