The James Webb Space Telescope has taken its first image of an exoplanet – a planet outside our solar system. while astronomers praise the device’s performance since its launch last year.
Images of the most powerful space telescope ever built have excited observers in recent months, as it orbits the sun at a distance of 1.6 million kilometers from Earth.
Their latest groundbreaking images show that the exoplanet, called HIP65426bis a gas giant with no rocky surface and may not be habitable.
“This is a transformative moment not just for Webb, but for astronomy in general,” said Sasha Hinkley, an astronomy professor at the University of Exeter who led the observation team.
Webb’s infrared vision and coronagraphs (telescopic attachments that block starlight) allow him to take direct images of exoplanets.
“It was really impressive how well the Webb’s coronagraphs worked to suppress the guest star’s light.Hinkley said in a NASA statement Thursday.
Exoplanet HIP 65426 b is six to 12 times the mass of Jupiter and young, about 15 to 20 million years old, compared to Earth, which is 4.5 billion years old.
The telescope, which only released its first images in July, has already revealed dazzling new details of the Ghost Galaxy and the planet Jupiter.
The Hubble Space Telescope had previously captured direct images of exoplanets, but in much less detail.
“I think the most exciting thing is that we’re just getting started,” said Aarynn Carter of the University of California. “We may even discover hitherto unknown planets.”
The $10 billion Webb Telescope is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. It is expected to operate for about 20 years.
The times of Israel