James Webb Space Telescope Used by NASA to find carbon dioxide in WASP-39b’s atmosphere.
WASP-39b is 700 light-years away, and the discovery is called “the first clear evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet outside the solar system” This “provides important insights into the composition and formation of the planet.”
James Webb Space Telescope Near-Infrared Spectrograph determines a planet’s atmosphere. Using “small differences in brightness of the transmitted light across a spectrum of wavelengths” to detect CO2 on WASP-39b.
According to researcher Mike Line, WASP-39b’s CO2 could help explain how planets develop. “determine how much solid versus how much gaseous material was used to form this gas giant planet.”
Natalie Batalha, James Webb Space Telescope Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science. Detected carbon dioxide on WASP-39b bodes well for finding atmospheres on smaller planets.
NASA released these data as part of the Early Release Science effort, which strives to deliver researchers James Webb Space Telescope-related results as quickly as feasible. Nature reportedly published the study.
First detectable CO2
The team observed WASP-39b using Webb’s NIRSpec. A little hill between 4.1 and 4.6 microns is the first unequivocal, precise evidence of carbon dioxide on an extraterrestrial.
“As soon as the data appeared on my screen, the huge carbon dioxide feature grabbed me,” said Johns Hopkins graduate student Zafar Rustamkulov. It was a milestone in exoplanet science.
No observatory has ever recorded such modest changes in exoplanet transmission spectrum brightness between 3 and 5.5 microns. Access to this region of the spectrum is critical for measuring water, methane, and carbon dioxide on exoplanets.
“Detection of carbon dioxide on WASP-39 b bodes well for detecting atmospheres on smaller, terrestrial-sized planets,” stated team leader Natalie Batalha of UC Santa Cruz.
Understanding a planet’s atmosphere reveals its genesis and evolution. Mike Line of Arizona State University claimed CO2 molecules are sensitive tracers of planet formation. By analysing carbon dioxide, we can tell how much solid versus gaseous material formed this gas giant planet. In the next decade, JWST will measure this for a range of planets, providing insight into how planets develop and our solar system’s uniqueness.