Strong evidence of the existence of an atmosphere around a rocky planet outside our solar system

About the episode

Astronomers using the James Webb Telescope may have discovered an atmosphere surrounding a rocky planet outside our solar system.

Signs of atmospheres have been found around dozens of exoplanets in the past 20 years. But it is not easy to see all atmospheres equally. For example, some small, rocky planets – such as Earth – have very thin gaseous atmospheres, and are very difficult to detect.

Now those atmospheric gases have been found. There are about 55 Cancri e, a hot, rocky exoplanet, 41 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cancer, which was already discovered in 2011. The planet is twice the diameter of Earth, and is larger in density.

By the way, don’t imagine the green valleys and mountains: the planet orbits so closely around its sun that everything on the surface would likely have melted. Not a blue sea full of fish, but oceans of flowing magma.

These measurements are the best evidence to date of the existence of an atmosphere for a rocky planet outside our solar system. Thus, Webb is once again pushing the boundaries of astronomy.

Read more about the research here: Webb’s data suggests a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet

See also  Nothing turns me on more than hearing that my colleagues are as messy as I am

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *