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NASA’S James Webb Telescope detects signs of water in exoplanet WASP-96 b

NASA’S James Webb Telescope detects signs of water in exoplanet WASP-96 b
The Siliconreview
13 July, 2022

WASP-96 b orbits close to its Sun-like star, completing one circuit every three-and-a-half Earth days

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has found signs of water and evidence of clouds and haze in the atmosphere of a giant planet orbiting a Sun-like star over a thousand light-years away, said the US space agency. The observation made is the most detailed of its kind yet; it demonstrated Webb's unprecedented ability to analyze distant atmospheres, according to NASA. WASP-96 b is one among 5,000 exoplanet confirmed in the Milky Way. WASP-96 b is located approximately 1,150 light-years away in the southern-sky constellation Phoenix; it is a type of gas giant that has no direct analog in our solar system. Its mass is less than half of that of Jupiter, and its diameter is 1.2 times bigger. WASP-96 b is much puffier than any planet orbiting our Sun. It is significantly hotter with a temperature of more than 538 degrees Celsius.

WASP-96 b orbits very close to its Sun-like star, completing one circuit every three-and-a-half Earth days. The combination of contaminating light from objects, short orbital period, large size, short orbital period, puffy atmosphere and makes WASP-96 b an ideal specimen for atmospheric observations. The Hubble Space Telescope has studied numerous exoplanet atmospheres over the past two decades and captured the first clear signs of water in 2013. James Webb's immediate and more detailed observation marks a giant leap forward in the quest to characterize potentially habitable planets beyond Earth.