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“James Webb” Compiled A Weather Map Of An Exoplanet 280 Light Years Away From Earth

The exoplanet WASP-43b, a hot Jupiter with a mass of 1.78 times that of our Jupiter, has repeatedly attracted the attention of astronomers. It is very well located near its star, which makes the exoplanet WASP-43b an ideal object for study: it orbits the star in 19.5 hours and is not so far from us. Previous observations of WASP-43b using the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes made it possible to suspect the presence of clouds on it. The appearance of “Webb” could not be missed by fans of WASP-43b, and they conducted a daily observation of it, recording readings in the mid-infrared range every 10 seconds.

The JWST team used the telescope’s mid-infrared instrument to classify the exoplanet’s climate.

“We saw WASP-43b in unprecedented detail. We saw a complex, inhospitable world with violent winds, extreme temperature changes and clouds that were likely made of molten rocks,” says team member Laura Kreidberg, director of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA).

In the atmosphere of the exoplanet, Webb detected water vapor and did not find methane at all, which should form there under such conditions. Based on these data, scientists concluded that WASP-43b has strong winds, reaching speeds of 8000 km/h at the equator. Due to the rapid movement of masses on the night side, chemical processes do not have time to occur and the atmosphere of the exoplanet is generally homogeneous. It seems to always be clear on the illuminated side.

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