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The first atmosphere of an alien planet seen in HD

2022-11-25T08:50:01.838Z

A new record marked by the James Webb space telescope (Jwst), of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian (CSA): it photographed the atmosphere of an alien planet with a detail never achieved before, managing to provide a complete portrait of its chemical composition (ANSA)



A new record marked by the James Webb space telescope (Jwst), of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian (CSA): it photographed the atmosphere of an alien planet with a detail never achieved before, managing to provide a complete portrait of its chemical composition.

This is a result that goes well beyond expectations, and that promises a new phase of exploration of the planets outside the Solar System.

The analysis of the data obtained involved hundreds of researchers, who published them in five studies available online on the arXiv platform, which welcomes articles awaiting review by the scientific community.



The planet that allowed Webb to demonstrate his extraordinary abilities is Wasp-39b, a 'hot Saturn' with a temperature of about 870 degrees which orbits very close around a star 700 light years away.

To capture Wasp-39b's light, the JWST followed the planet as it passed in front of its star: Every chemical in the atmosphere absorbs different colors of the starlight spectrum, so the missing colors tell astronomers which molecules are present.

“We had anticipated that we would be able to see many of those signals,” says Mercedes López-Morales of the Harvard-Smithsonian American Center for Astrophysics, one of the authors of the studies, “but when I first saw the data I was shocked. mouth open".



Among the unprecedented revelations is the first detection, in an exoplanet's atmosphere, of sulfur dioxide, a molecule produced by chemical reactions triggered by high-energy light from the planet's parent star.

On Earth, the protective ozone layer present in the upper part of the atmosphere is created in a similar way: "This means - comments Diana Powell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, co-author of one of the studies - that our planet has much more things in common than we thought with the 'hot Saturns'”.

Source: ansa

All tech articles on 2022-11-25

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