The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope just scored another first: a molecular and chemical portrait of a distant world’s skies. While Webb and other space telescopes, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have previously revealed isolated ingredients of this heated planet’s atmosphere, the new readings provide a full menu of atoms, molecules, and even signs of active chemistry and clouds. The latest data also give a hint of how these clouds might look up close: broken up rather than as a single, uniform blanket over the planet.
Read the ESA press release here.
Image: © NASA, ESA, CSA, J. Olmsted (STScI); Description: Image Description: This image shows an artist’s impression of the planet WASP-39 b and its star. The planet has a fuzzy orange-blue atmosphere with hints of longitudinal cloud bands below. The left quarter of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star is bright yellowish-white, with no clear features.