The first exoplanet with carbon dioxide detected.


The first exoplanet with carbon dioxide detected.

free source of right to come from a government entity. Crédito: NASA, ESA, CSA y J. Olmsted (STScI)

The first exoplanet with carbon dioxide in its atmosphere is detected, this world is called WASP-39 b, which is also at a very respectable distance of about 700 light years, when it came out in the light of the star that illuminates that planet. In Europe the Black Death was suffering from a plague and in America the Mexicas were founding the city of Mexico Tenochtitlan.

The light from its star is very important, since what the James Webb did was to capture the light that passes through the atmospheric layers of the exoplanet while it passed in front of its star, that light can be broken down into a spectrum somewhat similar to what makes a prism with the sunlight and the most interesting thing, the spectra are not all the same, they vary depending on the gas molecules present in that atmosphere in this way it has been possible determine that there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of that distant world.

Free source of right to come from a government entity. Credits: Illustration: NASA, ESA, CSA, and L. Hustak (STScI); Science: The JWST Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Te

The star is similar to the sun and the exoplanet is a gas giant 1.3 times larger than Jupiter although it has only a quarter of its mass, this is because it is very swollen, since it is very close to its star eight times closer to its star than Mercury is to the sun.

The year on this planet lasts only four Earth days and being so close to the star is very hot, its temperature is estimated to be around 900 degrees Celsius.

Source from NASA Archives Royalty Free.

In that world there can be no life, it is too hot, it is uninhabitable, besides the C02 cannot be breathed and the earth is a problem since they are a greenhouse gas, so its importance lies in the fact that it serves to check the infrared sensitivity of the James Webb necessary for when you have to analyze the atmosphere of more interesting worlds with a size similar to that of the earth that are in the habitable zone of their star.

Source from NASA Archives Royalty Free.

In addition, CO2 cannot be breathed by us humans, but other forms of life can, in fact, the primitive earth did not have oxygen, the atmosphere was composed of nitrogen and CO2 and despite this it was a world full of microscopic life, so a planet with a lot of CO2 is not necessarily a planet without life, and a lot of greenhouse effect can make the planet end up like Venus, but an adequate amount can be very useful so that the planet does not freeze.

An atmosphere rich in co2 could, for example, help maintain warm temperatures on these planets that are in the outer and colder limits of the habitable zone of their star system, so detecting CO2 in a planet similar to ours could be a very important discovery. interesting and the James Webb could provide us with that finding.

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