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James Webb Space Telescope reveals an exoplanet atmosphere as never seen before


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has just scored another first: a detailed molecular and chemical portrait of a distant world's skies.

The telescope's array of highly sensitive instruments was trained on the atmosphere of a "hot Saturn"—a planet about as massive as Saturn orbiting a star some 700 light-years away—known as WASP-39 b. While JWST and other space telescopes, including Hubble and Spitzer, have previously revealed isolated ingredients of this broiling planet's atmosphere, the new readings provide a full menu of atoms, molecules, and even signs of active chemistry and clouds.

"The clarity of the signals from a number of different molecules in the data is remarkable," says Mercedes López-Morales, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and one of the scientists who contributed to the new results.

https://phys.org/news/2022-11-james-webb-space-telescope-reveals.html

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