Intriguing Exoplanet Atmosphere
Read the news release: https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2023/news-2023-139
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.
· Illustration of K2-18 system: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI)
· Infographic of K2-18 b spectra: NASA, ESA, CSA, Ralf Crawford (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI)
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Different photos of galaxies and colorful clouds, planets.
Text, NEW FROM THE UNIVERSE.
September 15th, 2023. Intriguing Exoplanet Atmosphere. Illustration of a blue planet with a red sun behind and below it, in the right corner of the screen.
Text, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has detected intriguing carbon-bearing molecules in the atmosphere Of exoplanet K2-18 b.
The exoplanet is unlike any in our own solar system — larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune.
A chart shows levels of Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Dimethyl Sulfide. Text, Webb's detection Of methane and carbon dioxide. but a shortage Of ammonia, is consistent with a possible water ocean underneath a hydrogen-rich atmosphere.
The presence Of a water ocean would not mean that K2-18 b is -Earth-like: however, due to its higher mass and thick atmosphere.
The detection of methane in the atmosphere of this type Of exoplanet was impossible before Webb, marking a big step for planetary science.
Illustration of a blue planet with a red sun behind and below it, in the right corner of the screen. Text, The findings are considered a promising step in using Webb to study "sub-Neptunes" and water worlds that are very different from Earth.
This news was brought to you in part by the SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.