Scientists have discovered a new, strange world.
It’s nearly the same size as Earth. It’s rocky. It’s Relatively Close (41 light-years distant). And, for the first time, astronomers used the most powerful space telescope ever built — the James Webb Space Telescope — to find this exoplanet, which is a planet beyond our solar system. It’s known as LHS 475b.
Webb is “bringing us closer to a new understanding Earth-like planets outside of our solar system,” Mark Clampin (director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division) stated in a statement.
All across the galaxy there are mysterious “super Earths”.
However, there are some significant differences between the planet and Earth. LHS 475 B whips around its star every two days, making it an extremely close orbit. However, the star, known as a red dwarf, is half the size the sun so it’s cooler. NASA stated that this world is “a few hundred degrees warmer” than Earth.
“With this telescope rocky exoplanets become the new frontier.”
LHS 475b may still possess an atmosphere. Webb will need to point Webb at the planet to verify its composition.