New data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) show that the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system are either non-existent or incredibly thin, making them unsuitable to host life as we know it.
astronomers using JWST was able to calculate the amount of thermal energy coming from Trappist-1cIt turns out that the daytime temperature in the rock world is about 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 degrees Celsius). alien planet feature ever. At these temperatures, the atmospheres of exoplanets, if any, are likely to be extremely thin, according to a NASA statement.
Located 40 light-years from Earth, TRAPPIST-1c is one of seven rocky planets orbiting ultracold. red dwarfThe most common type of star found on our planet Milky Way Galaxy. Therefore, studying these exoplanetary systems will help astronomers better understand whether these types of stars could host worlds that could support life on Earth as we know it.
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“We want to know whether rocky planets have atmospheres,” said Sebastian Zieba, a graduate student at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and first author of the new study that published the findings. NASA statement.
“In the past, only planets with thick, hydrogen-rich atmospheres could really be studied,” Zieba said. “With Webb, we can finally search for an atmosphere dominated by oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.”
The worlds orbiting TRAPPIST-1 are similar in size and mass to our inner rocky planets, but solar system, the composition of the atmospheres of exoplanets is unclear. That’s where JWST comes in. The telescope’s powerful Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is helping astronomers characterize rocky exoplanets like TRAPPIST-1 c.
Initially, astronomers thought that TRAPPIST-1c could have a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere. VenusGiven that they are about the same size and receive a similar amount of radiation from the host star as Venus gets, sun. However, red dwarf stars like TRAPPIST-1 readily emit bright X-rays and ultraviolet light. strip a planet’s atmosphere. According to the statement, it is possible that exoplanets did not have enough water, carbon dioxide and other volatiles to create an atmosphere when they formed.
The research team used MIRI to compare the brightness of the light TRAPPIST-1c emits as it moves behind its host star and when the planet is next to the star. This allowed the team to calculate the amount of mid-infrared light emitted by the planet, which is directly related to the planet’s temperature and atmospheric composition. Emissions observed from TRAPPIST-1c suggest a lack of carbon dioxide gas that would otherwise have absorbed light from the planet.
“Our result is that the Earth no atmosphereOr a planet with a really thin CO2 atmosphere ( earth or Mars) there are no clouds,” Zieba said in a statement.
Given that TRAPPIST-1c lacks a thick atmosphere, astronomers suggest it may have formed with relatively little water or other components needed to make the planet habitable.
“It’s amazing that we can measure this,” co-author Laura Kreidberg of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy said in a statement. She writes, “It has been questioned for decades whether rocky planets can sustain atmospheres. Webb’s ability has brought us to a regime where exoplanets systems can be compared to the solar system in a way we have never been before.”
the new discovery Issued on June 19th in the Nature Journal.
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