James Webb discovers its first exoplanet

(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb telescope has discovered for the first time a planet orbiting another star. Named LHS 475 b, it is almost the same size as the Earth but much closer to its star, a dim red dwarf.

NASA ‘s James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first exoplanet, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘s official website.

Formally named LHS 475 b, the planet is almost the same size as our own: its diameter is 99 percent that of the Earth.

The James Webb Near Infrared Spectrograph ( NIRSpec ) easily and clearly captured the planet in just two transit observations.

Now the team of astronomers has begun the next stage of the study – the analysis of the atmospheric composition of LHS 475 b, which will clarify the conditions on its surface.

Among all the telescopes in operation, only James Webb is able to characterize the atmosphere of an Earth-sized exoplanet by analyzing its absorption spectrum.

Scientists have come to the conclusion that the temperature of LHS 475 b is several hundred degrees higher than the earth’s, so most likely it looks more like Venus than our planet, and is shrouded in an unbreathable atmosphere.

Astronomers also found that a year on this planet lasts only two Earth days, because it is much closer to its star than any planet in the solar system.

However, the temperature of the red dwarf around which it orbits is less than half the temperature of the Sun, so the presence of an atmosphere in LHS 475 b is not yet ruled out.

James Webb discovers its first exoplanet
Astronomers were able to detect an exoplanet by observing changes in the brightness of its star’s light

It is curious that the star of the newly appeared exoplanet is relatively close to Earth – only 41 light years away, in the constellation Octantus – which makes the study of such exoplanets promising in terms of their possible colonization.

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