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The James Webb Telescope never ceases to amaze: there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

The James Webb Telescope never ceases to amaze: there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

The James Webb Telescope pointed Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanetAny planet outside the solar system. Carbon dioxide, a key component that is part of Earth’s atmosphere, was intercepted by the James Webb Space Telescope in the atmosphere WASP-39ban exoplanet orbiting a star similar to Sunand about 700 light-years from Earth. It is the first time that there has been definitive evidence of carbon dioxide in an exoplanet orbiting a star similar to the Sun. , “He said Natalie Batalha from university California to me Santa Cruz, at the head of a team of researchers studying the atmosphere of exoplanets using the Webb Telescope. Instead, he said, “Once we saw the data, it was clear that this was an amazing discovery.” Dominique Petit de la Rochea scientist from the University of Geneva and co-author of the study.

When a planet passes directly in front of its star, some of its light passes through the celestial body before it reaches the telescope. He explained that “the atmosphere at that moment filters out certain colors more than others.” Monica Lindel, a professor at Unige, as well as a co-author of the study. By using the James Webb Telescope to analyze light into its colors, “it was possible to determine the properties of the different gases that make up the atmosphere,” Lindell explained. Using this method, it was possible to detect a kind of “fingerprint” of carbon dioxide in the light passing through the atmosphere of WASP-39b.

Definitely determining the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmospheres of exoplanets is an essential step in the search for systems that may or may be hosting different forms of life. as explained Mike Line From Arizona State University, thanks to these kinds of discoveries, “we can quantify how much solid or gaseous matter was used to form a planet: in the next decade, Webb will make this measurement of a variety of planets, providing detailed information on how they form, and on the uniqueness of our solar system. ». In short, the significance of this latest discovery lies in the fact that by studying its constituent elements it is possible to better understand the origin and evolution of the universe, but also to reformulate – perhaps – better the origin of our atoms, the stern. After all, as the song said, The universe never dies.

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