The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of NASA has discovered a new exoplanet that seems quite similar to the Earth. This is the very first discovery by the space telescope. The Earth-resembling celestial body is known as LHS 475 b. It is located outside our solar system and almost the same size as Earth. CNN reported,
Previously, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) had collected some data that suggested the possible existence of the new exoplanet. Independent has reported,
Nevertheless, for now, scientists can only state what is absent in the atmosphere of the new exoplanet. They have also mentioned that the discovered exoplanet cannot possess a thick atmosphere dominated by Methane similar to that on Saturn’s moon, Titan. That said, the researchers are hopeful that they will be able to characterize the atmosphere of the distant new exoplanet with time. Nonetheless, the findings demonstrate that JWST can also be used to study other planets – with many more discoveries expected in the weeks and months.
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Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division director at Nasa Headquarters in Washington stated,
Furthermore, the Independent reported,
Not much is known about the new exoplanet. However, the early observations have confirmed the following details:
- The distant exoplanet possesses a diameter of 99% of that of the Earth.
- It is a few hundred degrees warmer than our planet Earth.
Such rocky and small planets have been elusive owing to their small size that seeks powerful instruments to get noticed. Nevertheless, the new findings have suggested that the elevated power of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will enable them to get noticed easily by utilizing the latest technology.
Kevin Stevenson from Johns Hopkins University helped lead the work. He stated,
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