New findings about outer space have increased exponentially since the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Recently, the telescope showed never-before-seen images of Jupiter. In this opportunity, the James Webb detected carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet for the first time.
James Webb detected carbon dioxide in WASP-39 b
The great space telescope was put into orbit on December 25, 2021 in order to understand the phenomena of outer space. Since its launch, knowledge about other planets has increased. So much so that, for the first time, a new gas was detected in the atmosphere of an explored planet.
WASP-39 b is a gas planet 700 light-years away. The Hubble and Spitzer telescopes explored this planet in previous years. Both telescopes detected water vapor, sodium and potassium in the atmosphere, however, they missed an additional component.
The James Webb is the first telescope to detect carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of WASP-39 b. This is because the new telescope has greater infrared capability than its predecessors, allowing it to capture the CO2 signature. The importance of this discovery is that it will allow scientists to analyze the evolution of the planet.
Furthermore, the detection of this gas demonstrates the ability of the James Webb to make such discoveries on rocky planets with thinner atmospheres. The space telescope also analyzed WASP-96 b, a planet located 1150 light years away. The main finding in this analysis was the unequivocal signature of water, along with haze and clouds.
As you can see, the James Webb has generated a great deal of knowledge during its first year in orbit. The fact of discovering carbon dioxide on a planet already analyzed demonstrates the power of the device. For now, we can only wait to discover the new discoveries that are made.