NASA’s James Webb has released the first live image of a planet beyond our solar system

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On Thursday, NASA released an image taken by the James Webb Telescope that shows the first direct image of a planet outside our own. The Solar System.

NASA The exoplanet, HIP 65426 b, is a gas giant, meaning it has no rocky surface and is not habitable, he says. The image can be seen through several bands of infrared light.

Sasha Hinckley, colleague Professor of Physics An astronomer at the University of Exeter in the UK, who led the observations, described it as “a transformative moment not just for the web, but for astronomy in general”.

Image of exoplanet 65426 b released by NASA.
(NASA)

NASA says HIP 65426 b has 6 to 12 times the mass of Jupiter and is 15 to 20 million years old. By comparison, Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. HIP 65426 b is about 100 times the distance from its parent star to Earth’s Sun.

Astronomers using the SPHERE instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile discovered an exoplanet in 2017. Images were initially captured using short infrared waves of light.

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Webb’s vision uses long infrared wavelengths, revealing new details that ground-based telescopes cannot detect because of the inherent infrared light of Earth’s atmosphere, NASA says.

Our near-infrared webcam (NIRCam) and mid-infrared (MIRI) instruments are equipped with panels that block starlight — much brighter than planets — allowing direct images of exoplanets like HIP 65426 b.

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NASA says the breakthrough opens the door to future possibilities for studying distant worlds.

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“The most exciting thing is that we’re just getting started,” said Erin Carter, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led the image analysis. “There are many images of exoplanets that shape our general understanding of their physics, chemistry and morphology. We may also discover previously unknown planets.

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