A research team was able to access data from james webb space telescope Prove the extensive atmospheric composition of an alien world. This exoplanet is WASP-39b, which is 700 light-years away in Virgo. It belongs to the “hot Saturn” category because, although it is as large as our ringed planet, it is eight times closer to its parent star – about the same distance as Mercury from our Sun.
Researchers had been observing this exoplanet for a long time. However, the new findings are a first in astronomy, as reported by the US space agency NASA on November 22, 2022.
Atmospheric composition of WASP-39 b
The research team observed the exoplanet as it passed by its host star. instruments of james webb observed the spectra of light shimmering through the planet’s atmosphere. Based on the missing spectra, which the research team analyzed in infrared light, the scientists were able to deduce the presence of molecules in the exoplanet’s atmosphere. This is because different chemicals in the atmosphere absorb different colors of stars.
This enabled them to detect sulfur dioxide (SO2), sodium (Na), potassium (K) and water vapor (H2O) in WASP-39 b, for example. they’ve got clues carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Another discovery was made by exoplanet researcher Kazumasa Ohno of the University of California at Santa Cruz:
The data also indicate that oxygen is far more abundant in the atmosphere than carbon. This may indicate that WASP-39 b originally formed away from the host star.
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