NASA’s James Webb Telescope hit one other milestone on Wednesday, figuring out its first exoplanet 41 light-years away that’s virtually precisely the same size as Earth.
Formally dubbed LHS 475 b, the rocky planet is simply 1% smaller than Earth’s diameter.
“Webb is bringing us nearer and nearer to a brand new understanding of Earth-like worlds outdoors our solar system, and the mission is simply simply getting began,” Mark Clampin, the Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters, mentioned in an announcement.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc first hinted on the planet’s existence, which was confirmed by Webb’s Close to-Infrared Spectrograph.
Whereas LHS 475 b is sort of the identical measurement as Earth, the planet is a number of hundred levels hotter and the make-up of its ambiance is unclear.
Additional observations are set to happen this summer season to strive to determine the ambiance’s composition, if it has one in any respect.
“There are some terrestrial-type atmospheres that we can rule out,” Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, a doctoral fellow on the Johns Hopkins College Utilized Physics Laboratory defined on Wednesday. “It can’t have a thick methane-dominated atmosphere, similar to that of Saturn’s moon Titan.”
The $10 billion Webb Telescope transmitted its first image of the early universe final July.
Since then, it has captured the Stephan’s Quintet, a grouping of 5 galaxies 290 million light-years away; the Carina Nebula, a stellar nursery with model new stars that had been beforehand hidden; and galaxies with stellar bars, that are elongated options of stars that stretch to a galaxy’s outer disks.
Fox Information’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.