Aug 27, 2022

First detection of CO2 in atmosphere of exoplanet

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

The planet is 1.27 times the diameter of Jupiter but has only 28% of its mass. It orbits just 0.0486 AU (7.3 million km) from its star, taking only 4.1 days to complete one “year” and resulting in a temperature of 900°C (1,600°F).

The parent star WASP-39 is of spectral class G – the same type as our own Sun – and just slightly smaller than the Sun. The system is 698 light years from Earth in the Virgo constellation.

Previous observations from telescopes including Hubble and Spitzer revealed the presence of water vapour, sodium, and potassium in the planet’s atmosphere. Last month, it became the first exoplanet to be studied by the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and this week NASA released the data from those observations. Webb’s unmatched infrared sensitivity has now confirmed the presence of carbon dioxide on this planet as well.

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