James Webb telescope discovers ancient ‘water world’ in nearby star system

Astronomers have lastly peered previous the clouds on the exoplanet GJ 1214b, a mini-Neptune planet round a star about 40 light-years away. Mini-Neptunes, like a shrunken down model of the acquainted fuel large, are a typical kind of planet in our galaxy — however as a result of there is not one in our personal photo voltaic system, these worlds have largely remained a curiosity for scientists.

Earlier observations of the distant planet have been foiled by thick cloud layers, however the highly effective James Webb House Telescope‘s (JWST) infrared warmth imaginative and prescient allowed astronomers to discover a new view by way of the haze. The outcomes, revealed Might 10 within the journal Nature (opens in new tab), reveal that GJ 1214b has an environment manufactured from steam, hinting at its previous as a potential “water world,” in line with NASA researchers.