James Webb Space Telescope finds light on Earth-like planet in groundbreaking discovery | Space

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NASA scientists have unveiled all

NASA’s hi-tech deep space telescope is at it again when it comes to discovering and understanding new and exciting things about the cosmos.

The James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched from the planet back in 2021, has spent the last two and a bit years travelling through the vacuum of space.

It’s a piece of scientific ingenuity, with the telescope regularly sending back images to NASA headquarters showing us things our eyes couldn’t possibly ever see.

It’s also brought us amazing discoveries about black holes that scientists ‘thought were impossible’.

In one of its latest discoveries, Webb has followed up on the work of NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope.

Back in 2016, the Spitzer discovered seven planets orbiting the same star, which is known as TRAPPIST-1 in the scientific community.

About 40.7 light-years away from Earth, the star itself was discovered 24 years ago.

And now, researchers have used Webb to investigate one of the planets that were found.

The planet, known as TRAPPIST-1 b, is Earth-like in its composition, with it also roughly being the same size as our planet.

And the research has been groundbreaking – with it being the first time any light has been detected as being emitted from another planet outside of our solar system.

NASA, ESA, CSA, J. Olmsted (STScI)

The light itself is infrared, with Webb able to use its Mid-infrared Instrument (MIRI) to detect it.

“The result marks an important step in determining whether planets orbiting small active stars like TRAPPIST-1 can sustain atmospheres needed to support life,” NASA said in a statement.

“It also bodes well for Webb’s ability to characterise temperate, Earth-sized exoplanets using MIRI.”

Thomas Greene, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and lead author on the study published in the journal Nature, said: “These observations really take advantage of Webb’s…

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