NASA Comments on Alien Light Detected by James Webb Telescope Beyond Our Solar System


NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which is at the forefront of space exploration and study, has made another remarkable discovery. The telescope has detected a rocky exoplanet, similar in size and composition to Earth, emitting light. This is the first time such a phenomenon has been observed from a planet beyond our solar system, marking a significant milestone in space exploration and research.

The American space agency, NASA, confirmed the discovery, noting its importance in the exploration of exoplanets – planets outside our solar system. The finding is particularly significant as it indicates that planets orbiting small active stars, such as TRAPPIST-1, the star which the detected planet orbits, may be capable of maintaining atmospheres, a crucial factor for the existence of life.

NASA also highlighted the capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope, specifically its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which was instrumental in detecting the light emitted by the exoplanet. The telescope’s sensitivity to mid-infrared light, previously unmeasurable by other telescopes, was key to this groundbreaking discovery.

The research team used a technique known as secondary eclipse photometry, which measures changes in brightness as a planet moves behind its star. While the planet, named TRAPPIST-1 b, does not emit visible light, the study found that it does emit infrared light.

TRAPPIST-1 b is similar in size and composition to Earth. However, despite these similarities, the planet cannot sustain life as it lacks an atmosphere. Prior observations of TRAPPIST-1 b using NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes were unable to detect a puffy atmosphere or rule out a dense one.

Furthermore, TRAPPIST-1 b is tidally locked, which means one side of the planet always faces its star, while the other side remains in darkness. According to Pierre-Olivier Lagage, a co-author of the study, the presence of an atmosphere could help to distribute heat throughout the planet, reducing the temperature on the dayside. However, the planet’s dayside temperature is around 500 kelvins, or 230 degrees Celsius, making it unlikely to support life.

Overall, this discovery provides valuable insights into the capacity of planets outside our solar system to sustain atmospheres and opens up new possibilities for future research in this field.



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