James Webb announces the first Earth-sized exoplanet he has observed

The James Webb Telescope has exceeded expectations since its launch in December 2021, and now it has discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a star, with an estimated diameter of 99% that of Earth.

Observations from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) indicated the presence of a planet, and its presence was confirmed by high-resolution images provided by the James Webb Telescope’s James Webb Telescope Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec).

It is believed that the new planet is hotter than our planet, although they have the same size. The discovered planet revolves around a red dwarf star close to it and completes its cycle in just two days.

“The planet must be there, and the James Webb telescope data is correct,” says astronomer Jacob Lustig-Jaeger of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.

The discovered planet is 41 light years away in the constellation of the price (the constellation of the price is one of the constellations of the southern hemisphere and is used as an ancient navigational tool used to determine the height and latitude of a particular star on Earth) and it was called LHS 475 b. It was discovered through the shadow that it formed during its passage in front of its star. Like other outer planets.

What sets the James Webb telescope apart is the ability to see transmission spectra, which are the variety of wavelengths of light that filter around a planet, revealing the properties of its atmosphere.

There is not enough data to know the type of atmosphere of the new planet, or whether there is an atmosphere in the first place, but astronomers are confident that it lacks a thick and methane-rich atmosphere like that of Saturn’s moon Titan, but they do not rule out the presence of a weak atmosphere composed of dioxide pure carbon.

“The James Webb telescope is so sensitive and the data is so accurate that we can easily detect many different particles of it but we don’t see much yet,” says astrophysicist Ortiz Ceballos of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts.

The additional resolution provided by the James Webb Telescope enables researchers to search for stars and planets that are much smaller. Because telescopes usually search for exoplanets larger than Jupiter, about 11 times larger than Earth.

The process of discovering the planet and collecting information did not take much, as it was made by only two transits (a crossing in front of the star), until James Webb was able to locate the planet LHS 475 b and some of its characteristics.

The operation should give us more information about the new planet. Thanks to the high sensitivity of the James Webb telescope instruments, we obtained amazing images of deep space more than a year ago, and it may reveal a lot to us in the future.

Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said: “The preliminary results of a rocky planet the size of Earth opened the door to many future possibilities for studying its atmosphere using the James Webb telescope, as the telescope brings us closer to a new understanding of Earth-like worlds outside our solar system and the mission.” I just started.”


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