A spectrograph on the James Web telescope, for the first time in the history of exoplanet observations, has helped to detect clear traces of carbon dioxide in a planet outside the solar system.
According to NASA, determining the chemical composition of planets is important because it provides data on their origin and how they evolved, and carbon dioxide molecules play an important role in the study of the history of the planet.
According to TASS, with reference to the University of Geneva, WASP-39b is a hot gas giant in a star system 700 light years away from the Earth. Unlike the gas giants of the solar system, the planet is very close to its star, eight times closer to Mercury than the Sun, which heats its atmosphere to 900 degrees Celsius.
The light of a star passing through its atmosphere helped to establish the presence of carbon dioxide.
NASA reports that WASP-39b will be one of many planets that James Webb will study in detail. The telescope was launched at the end of last year and was previously planned for launch in 2014, but a number of obstacles prevented it from entering space in a timely manner.