The James Webb Space Telescope has found its first brand-new exoplanet, according o a statement released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on January 11. According to the agency, the planet is known as LHS 475 b and is about the same size as Earth.

The planet, which is only 41 light-years away, orbits a red dwarf star very closely and completes an orbit in just two days.

Researchers hope that in the coming years, owing to the Webb telescope’s advanced capabilities, they will be able to detect more Earth-sized planets. Since Earth-sized planets are much smaller and more difficult to find with older telescopes, the majority of exoplanets that have been discovered so far are similar to Jupiter.

Exoplanets are planets outside of our solar system that revolve around other stars. More than 5,000 exoplanets have been found so far, according to NASA. Since every star has at least one planet orbiting it, scientists think there are more planets than stars in the universe.

There are many different sizes of extrasolar planets. They could be as big as Jupiter-sized gas giants or as small and rocky as the Earth. They are also renowned for having a range of temperatures, from scalding hot to bitterly cold.

Exoplanet research not only deepens our understanding of other solar systems but also aids in understanding the formation of our own solar system and planetary system. The most compelling reason to learn more about them, though, is to discover the response to one of humanity’s most profound and perplexing questions: Are we the only beings in the universe?

Researchers look for an exoplanet’s mass, diameter, and determine whether it is solid, gaseous, or even has water vapour in its atmosphere in order to understand its characteristics.

Finding the distance between an exoplanet and its host star is a crucial component of the study. This aids scientists in deciding whether a planet they have discovered is habitable or not.

Since the Webb telescope is the only one that can characterise the atmospheres of Earth-sized planets orbiting far-off stars, scientists believe that they will now be able to better study exoplanets as a result of its launch.

Exoplanets are small and difficult to see in the vicinity of their bright host stars, making their discovery challenging. The transit method, described by NASA as “measuring the dimming of a star that just so happens to have a planet pass in front of it,” is one of the indirect techniques used by scientists.

The recently found exoplanet revolves around a red dwarf star, as was previously mentioned. The universe’s most prevalent and smallest stars are of this type. It is extremely difficult to see them with the naked eye from Earth because they don’t emit a lot of light. Red dwarf stars are fainter than other stars, making it simpler to find exoplanets that orbit them. Red dwarfs are therefore a preferred target for planet hunting.

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