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Data from the James Webb Telescope confirm the existence of an exoplanet

If the existence of exoplanets has indeed been confirmed in the past, this is the first time that one has been confirmed with data from the famous telescope.

Infinity and beyond! Data captured by the James Webb Telescope led to a new discovery, The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Wednesday. Scientists have already confirmed the existence of an exoplanet, for the first time since the telescope was launched.

This new exoplanet, called “LHS 475b,” located in the constellation Octane, 41 light-years away, is similar to our ancient Earth, since its diameters are 99 percent identical, the ESA press release explains.

An exoplanet similar to Venus?

But LHS 475b and Earth are very different. The exoplanet confirmed by James Webb’s data is much closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun: it completes an orbit in just two days.

LHS 475b is also “a few hundred degrees warmer”. “If the clouds are detected, it could lead scientists to conclude that the planet is more like Venus,” ESA quoted Jacob Lustig-Yeger of Johns Hopkins University as saying.

Also, because its star, a red dwarf, is cooler than our Sun, LHS 475b could have an atmosphere. A question that scientists will investigate in the coming months, hoping to find an answer this summer.

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