Apr 21, 2024

How Stellar Magnetism Is Reshaping Our View of Distant Worlds

Posted by in category: space

From the brightness variations of its host star, an exoplanet ’s size and other properties can be determined. In order to avoid mistakes, the star’s magnetic field is decisive.

700 light years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo, the planet WASP-39b orbits the star WASP-39. The gas giant, which takes little more than four days to complete one orbit, is one of the best-studied exoplanets.

Shortly after its commissioning in July 2022, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope turned its high-precision gaze on the distant planet. The data revealed evidence of large quantities of water vapor, of methane and even, for the first time, of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of WASP-39b. A minor sensation!

Leave a reply