October 2, 2022
Concepção artística mostra como poderia ser o exoplaneta WASP-39b, com base na compreensão atual do planeta.   -  (crédito: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted)

The James Webb Telescope finds carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

Published on 8/25/2022 1:07 PM / Updated on 8/25/2022 1:19 PM

Artist’s impression shows what exoplanet WASP-39b could look like, based on current understanding of the planet. – (Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted)

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured the first clear evidence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere of a planet outside the solar system, called an exoplanet. WASP-96b has already been observed at other times by Webb experts And now it exemplifies the possible new properties of the telescope.

WASP-96b is a hot gaseous planet with a mass approximately one-fourth the mass and a diameter of 1.3 times the mass of Jupiter. temperature in extrasolar planet 900 degrees Celsius.

Unlike the other cooler and more compact gas giant planets in our solar system, WASP-39 b orbits very close to its star—about one-eighth the distance between the Sun and Mercury—and completes a circle in just over four days.Earth.

See the data found:


  • The transmission spectrum of the hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-39 b captured by JWST’s near-infrared spectrometer (NIRSpec) on July 10, 2022 reveals the first clear evidence of carbon dioxide on an exoplanet.

    NASA, European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Leah Hostak (STScI), Joseph Olmsted (STScI)


  • A series of near-infrared light (NIRSpec) curves from the James Webb Telescope show the change in the brightness of three different wavelengths (colors) of light from the WASP-39 star system over time as the planet crossed the star on July 10, 2022.

    NASA, European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency and El Hostac (STScI); Science: JWST’s Transiting Exoplanet Society Early Launch Science Team


  • This illustration shows what exoplanet WASP-39b could look like, based on current understanding of the planet.

    NASA, European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Joseph Olmsted

Using the Webb’s Near Infrared Spectrophotometer (NIRSpec), experts have identified the first clear and detailed evidence of carbon dioxide ever detected on a planet outside the solar system.

Carbon dioxide is an important component of the atmospheres of the planets in our solar system, found in rocky rocks like Mars and Venus, as well as gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

“Previous observations of this planet with Hubble and Spitzer have given us tantalizing evidence that carbon dioxide may be present. The JWST data showed an unmistakable feature of carbon dioxide that was so prominent that it practically screamed at us,” explains Natalie Batalha, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California in Santa Cruz that led the team that made the discovery.

For experts, understanding the composition of the planet’s atmosphere is important to explaining the origin of the planet and how it evolved. “By measuring this characteristic of carbon dioxide, we can determine how much solid versus how much gaseous was used to form this gas giant planet. Over the next decade, JWST will make this measurement for a variety of planets, providing insight into the details of How planets form and the uniqueness of our solar system,” says Mike Lane, of Arizona State University, who was also involved in the discovery.