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Webb telescope finds its first planet outside the Solar System. It's 99% like Earth

by Riya Mishra

Date & Time: Jan 22, 2023 5:00 PM

Read Time: 3 minute


Introduction

The study of space and its constituent elements are still an important topic to research about. Over several decades, deep research work has been carried out in the studies related to such fields such as astrophysics, cosmology, and so on and these researches have continued unto recent times and this has become one of the most exciting topics that bring goosebumps on one's flesh. These studies have gotten to deeper levels and more detailed research works are carried out to unleash the secrets behind the vast Universe and its constituents. Out of the many research works, recent observations have been made by the Webb Telescope at the John Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory that tells about the presence of another planet outside the solar system to which Earth belongs. According to these research works, it has been confirmed that this exoplanet is almost 99 percent similar to that of our planet Earth.

Webb telescope finds its first planet outside the Solar System.

The James Webb Telescope has become a 'planet hunter' as it has confirmed the discovery of the first planet outside the solar system to which we belong. The James Webb Telescope, the world's most powerful observatory, did this after spending over a year in the vacuum of space, about 15,00,000 kilometers away from Earth.

This planet, formerly known as LHS 475 b, is almost the same size as that of the earth with a 99 percent similar diameter to that of Earth. The candidate was chosen to observe by Webb after it was first found in Nasa'sTransiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) observation data.

LHS 475b is situated just 41 light years away from Earth in the constellation Octans. Webb's accurate data validate the existence of data as the proof behind these observations and there is no doubt regarding this. According to Lustig-Yaeger, who was part of the study, the data have given proof for the existence of the fact that the planet is small and rocky and this is impressive for the observatory. The research team is led by Kevin Stevenson and Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, both belonging to the Johns 
Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory.

The difference between Webb Telescope from other telescopes is that the Webb Telescope is capable of characterizing the atmospheres of Earth-sized exoplanets and the team could attempt to assess what is present in the planet's atmosphere by analyzing its transmission spectrum. The team is still to find if there is the presence of an atmosphere on the exoplanet or not.

According to Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division director at Nasa Headquarters, the first observational results of the Webb Telescope that there is an Earth-sized, rocky planet put the way too many future possibilities open especially for the study of rocky planets' atmospheres with the Webb Telescope. These results bring us closer and make it an easy approach to a new understanding and study of Earth-like worlds outside the solar system. This mission is getting started and it has been possible just because of the strong observations made by the Webb Telescope.

The team, after all, has come to a point that there is a terrestrial type of atmosphere on the planet LHS 475b, and they have speculated that this planet cannot have a thick methane-dominated atmosphere, similar to that of the Saturn's moon Titan. It becomes even more interesting to know that the planet completes one orbit around its star in just two days. According to Nasa, although LHS 475 b is closer to its star than any other planet in our solar system, its red dwarf star is much less than half of the temperature as it is in the Sun of our solar system. This is why the researchers make it a statement that this planet can still have an atmosphere. According to Lustig-
Yaeger, the research teams are at the forefront of studying small, rocky exoplanets. The team has barely begun to start uncovering the facts behind the surface of the exoplanets and what their atmospheres consist of.

Conclusion

It is one of the most important responsibilities to dig into deeper grounds and contributes to newer studies. Just like this observation, there may be the presence of other observations that would drive the studies made into deeper areas that would help us to uncover the mysteries of the Universe.

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