James Webb discovers planetary chemistry

Astronomers at NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest telescope in space, have revealed for the first time the chemical makeup of planets outside the solar system as they pass in front of their stars. Where the planet blocks a small amount of the starlight, and a smaller amount of the starlight is filtered through the outer layers of the planet’s atmosphere, and the gases in the atmosphere absorb some of the light, leaving threadlike imprints on the starlight that are little bright at certain colors, or wavelengths, which makes it easier to find habitable planets.

Scientists have revealed that many exoplanets are very close to their parent stars, which helps the “powerful telescope” distinguish them.

James Webb is particularly suited to studies of exoplanet atmospheres. Because it works infrared.

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