The James Webb Space Telescope captured the first direct photo of a distant exoplanet, a world outside our Solar System. The photos show the exoplanet HIP 65426 b – a gas giant which mass is 6 times the mass of Jupiter and is located about 385 light-years from Earth.
The planet HIP 65426 b was first discovered in 2017 by the VLT telescope of the European Southern Observatory in Chile, which observed it in short waves of infrared light, because longer waves are blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere for ground-based telescopes. While in space, James Webb can access more of the infrared spectrum and can view more details.
The Hubble Space Telescope used to also take pictures of other alien worlds. But it’s not easy – the intense brightness of a nearby planet’s star can outshine a distant planet. HIP 65426 b, for example, is 10,000 times less bright than its parent star.
But HIP 65426 b orbits its star at a distance that is 100 times greater than the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, which helped scientists get a better look at the exoplanet in the images from James Webb. The images were taken using several filters and the NIRCam near-infrared camera, as well as the MIRI mid-infrared instrument. These images appeared after analyzing one of the first observations of the JWST spectrum of light from the exoplanet Wasp 39b, where the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the world of a distant planetary system was first detected.
According to Universetoday
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