NASA’s JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) discovered its first planet, and it appears to be very similar to Earth.
The planet is roughly the same size as ours, they say, and JWST’s precision means scientists can be very confident in their observations.
This is expected to be just the beginning of a series of planets to be discovered by NASA’s new space telescope. Plus, you’ll be able to see those planets in more detail than ever before, because it’s the only telescope capable of probing the atmospheres of distant planets.
For now, however, scientists have only been able to define what No It is present in the atmosphere of the planet. For example, it may not have a dense methane-dominated atmosphere similar to that of Saturn’s moon Titan.
The researchers hope that they will be able to better describe the distant planet’s atmosphere over time. But the findings also show the JWST’s use for studying other planets, with many more discoveries expected in the coming weeks and months.
Mark Klampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, agreed, saying, “These first observational results of an Earth-sized rocky planet open the door to many future possibilities for studying rocky planet atmospheres with Webb.” “
“Webb brings us closer to a new understanding of Earth-like worlds outside the solar system, and the mission is just getting started.”
The planet is called LHS 475 b and is 41 light-years away in the constellation Octane. Data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, had already picked up its signal for the first time, but JWST was quickly able to detect and confirm it.
There is still a lot unknown about the planet. But the first observations have confirmed some details about it: Its diameter is 99 percent that of Earth and it is a few hundred degrees hotter than our planet.
These small, rocky planets have remained elusive because their small size requires powerful instruments to observe them. However, the new findings suggest that JWST’s more powerful new technology will allow them to be observed relatively easily.
“The confirmation of this rocky planet highlights the precision of the mission’s instruments,” said Kevin Stevenson of Johns Hopkins University. “And it’s just the first of many discoveries he’s going to make.”