NASA Discovers First Clear Sign of CO2 Presence in Exoplanet

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The James Webb Space Telescope of NASA made the first conclusive finding of carbon dioxide in a planet’s atmosphere outside of our solar system.

the CO2, a gas that humans exhale, was discovered in the atmosphere of a planet 700 light-years from Earth, according to NASA.

The hot gas giant planet, named WASP-39 b, was found in 2011.

Its mass is nearly equal to that of Saturn and equal to Jupiter’s. Its diameter, however, is 1.3 times greater than Jupiter’s.

The result indicates that, in the future, carbon dioxide may be detectable and measurably present in the thinner atmospheres of smaller rocky planets using the Webb Space Telescope.

Water vapour, sodium, and potassium have also been found in the atmosphere of WASP-39 b by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer.

According to NASA, we might learn about a planet’s origin and evolution from the structure of its atmosphere.

According to Natalie Batalha of the University of California at Santa Cruz, “Detecting such a clear signature of carbon dioxide on WASP-39 b bodes well for the detection of atmospheres on smaller, terrestrial-sized planets.” The study team was directed by Batalha, and it saw WASP-39 b with Webb’s Near-Infrared Spectrograph.

The massive carbon dioxide feature immediately caught Zafar Rustamkulov’s attention when the data first appeared on his screen. He is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the JWST Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science team. Crossing a crucial threshold in the study of exoplanets was a special event.

In the upcoming decade, the team will continue to measure this in other planets, and the research can help shed light on how planets form and how exceptional our own solar system is.


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