NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Presents Exoplanet in Great Detail

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Presents Exoplanet in Great Detail
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It shouldn’t amaze anybody if astronomers discover one day that there are more exoplanets in the observable Universe than stars. Almost every star we see in the night sky should have exoplanets orbiting around them. But until astronomers find out for sure that the Universe is teeming with exoplanets, they can only focus on the ones they’ve discovered so far. There aren’t too many, surprisingly or not: just about 5,000.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has taken its first image of an exoplanet: the one designated  HIP 65426 b, which is very hot, young, and located about 385 light-years away from us. The new photos show the cosmic object in different bands of infrared light:

Prof Sasha Hinkley, an astronomer from the University of Exeter, explained as The Guardian quotes:

This is really a historic moment for astronomy,

James Webb is going to open the door to a whole new class of planets that have been completely out of reach to us and by observing them at a broad range of wavelengths we can study their compositions in a much more in-depth way.

We will be able to detect the presence of weather.

HIP 65426 b is also a gas giant like Jupiter, only that it’s ten times more massive than our Solar System’s giant. The exoplanet is located at about 100 AU from its host star. 

Even though it’s a gaseous planet, HIP 65426 b has a scorching hot atmosphere, where the temperatures reach about 1,300 degrees Celsius. 

The James Webb Space Telescope has also collaborated with the good ol’ Hubble to provide spectacular photos of the so-called Phantom Galaxy (aka Messier 74), which is located about 32 million light-years away from Earth. Webb doesn’t seem to be taking a break anytime soon when it comes to exploring the Universe, and that can only make us wait for the future while being full of excitement.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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