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JWST Finds Traces of Water in a Super-hot Gas Giant’s Atmosphere


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

JWST Finds Traces of Water in a Super-hot Gas Giant’s Atmosphere

WASP-18 b is so hot that it would tear most water molecules apart, so seeing its presence in the planet's atmosphere speaks to JWST’s extraordinary sensitivity.


JWST has identified water vapor in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-18b according to new work published in Nature. This is the third major discovery announced by the revolutionary space telescope’s Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Team, of which five Carnegie astronomers are members, including Anjali Piette, who played a key role in this latest discovery, and co-author Munazza Alam. 

WASP-18 b is an ultra-hot gas giant planet 10-times more massive than Jupiter, which orbits a star slightly larger than our Sun in just 23 hours. First discovered in 2009, astronomers have used multiple ground- and space-based telescopes to probe its mysteries.

Read More: Carnegie Institute


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