James Webb Space Telescope discovered its first exoplanet

James Webb Space Telescope discovered its first exoplanet


12 January 2023

The mighty James Webb Space Telescope has given us in a very short time some terrific samples of its capabilities that we have been seeing since last July in various pictures. This time, though, he's making headlines for spotting his first exoplanet.

The planet, codenamed LHS 475 b, is about the size of Earth (99% the same diameter), just 41 light-years away, and is rocky, but so far researchers have not determined whether it has an atmosphere. The temperature on its surface, however, is considerably higher compared to conditions on Earth.

There were hints of LHS 475 b's existence from TESS, but James Webb was able to confirm it thanks to the Near-Infrared Spectrograph instrument. The sensitivity of James Webb's instruments is so high that it can detect with relative ease even the existence of molecules, but for the time being it is too early to draw safe conclusions about this particular planet.

What is certain is that by the summer enough information will have been gathered about the fairly close exoplanet, which is noted to make a complete orbit around its star in just 2 days. Of course, James Webb does not stop here and is expected to impress the scientific (and not only) community many times in the near future with his discoveries.

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