The James Webb Space Telescope has detected carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet in another solar system for the first time. This is a significant breakthrough in the
There's no denying it, it's there. Carbon dioxide has been found on Mars, and there's a lot of it. This is a huge discovery, as it's a key ingredient for life. This news comes from a new
A new study has found evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of a nearby exoplanet, using data from the newly commissioned telescope. This is the first detailed scientific result published from the new telescope, and it points the way to finding the same greenhouse
The new telescope, called the Wide Area Search for Planets-South instrument, or WASP-South, is a successor to the original WASP telescope, which was located in La Palma, Spain. The new version is in Chile and can survey a larger patch of sky. The instrument is designed to look for the tiny dips in a star’s brightness that occur when a planet passes in front of, or transits
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is set to launch in December 2021 and take its first images in July 2022. For a brief period in July, the telescope will be able to observe starlight that has passed through the thick atmosphere of a distant planet. This is possible because, as the planet crosses in front of its star
WASP-39b is an extrasolar planet located approximately 630 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Pisces. The planet was discovered in 2010 by the SuperWASP planetary transit survey
When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launches in 2021, it will be the most powerful telescope ever made. Among its many targets will be a small, dim, and very old star called TRAPPIST-1. This star is of particular interest because it has seven Earth-sized planets orbiting around it, three of which are in the habitable zone where liquid water could exist.
The JWST data showed an extra bit of absorption at wavelengths close to those absorbed by carbon dioxide. This suggests the presence of an unknown molecule in the atmosphere of the exoplanet. "It's a mystery molecule," says astronomer Natalie Batalha of the University of California,
A planet's atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration can offer clues about its formation history. For example, a high concentration might indicate that the planet was bombarded by asteroids, which would have introduced additional carbon to the atmosphere. Alternatively, if radiation from the star stripped away lighter elements from the atmosphere, this would also lead to an apparent enrichment of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide might be one of the most common molecules in the universe, and it could be hiding in plain sight. Although it can't be detected without a powerful telescope like JWST, carbon dioxide is present in the atmospheres of all solar system planets that have atmospheres. "Carbon dioxide
If JWST can find carbon dioxide in the atmospheres of small rocky planets, it will be a major step forward in the search for life in the universe. Carbon dioxide is a key ingredient in the formation of life, and it is essential for the maintenance of life as we know it. The presence of carbon dioxide in the atmospheres of small rocky planets would be a strong indication that life could exist on those worlds.
When I first saw these data, I was impressed by how well they seemed to be doing. I thought to myself,