First Carbon Dioxide Detection in Exoplanet Atmosphere

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Video imagery:

·       Illustration showing WASP-39 b: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI)
·       Infographic showing carbon dioxide detection: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI)

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Emma Marcucci
Education review: Jim Manning
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Objects and gases of various colors in outer space. Text, News from the Universe
August 29, 2022. First Carbon Dioxide Detection In Exoplanet Atmosphere. Illustration
WASP-39b is a puffy gas giant planet orbiting a Sun-like star 700 light-years away.
Hot Gas Giant Exoplanet WASP-39B. Atmosphere Composition. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has detected carbon dioxide in the planet's atmosphere. A graph indicates Amount of Light Blocked and Wavelength of Light.
This marks the first clear, detailed evidence for carbon dioxide ever detected in a planet outside the Solar System.
This landmark detection is hopeful evidence that Webb could measure carbon dioxide in the thinner atmospheres of smaller, rocky planets in the future.
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD