back to article James Webb Space Telescope finds first evidence of CO2 in exoplanet atmosphere

NASA is reporting another James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) first as the orbital observatory has found clear evidence for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. According to NASA, prior observations of CO2-rich WASP-39b by the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes were able to detect water vapor, sodium, and potassium in …

  1. YetAnotherXyzzy

    "Zafar Rustamkulov, a John Hopkins University graduate student..."

    Johns, with a s.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Johns Hopkin?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Is he related to Mary?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I went to junior school with a lad called John Hopkins. Naturally, his nickname was 'Froggy'.

      I'm depressed that that was over forty years ago though.

  2. Sleep deprived

    Our future in a distant past

    Before JWST's accrued CO² sensitivity, we could only detect civilizations on the brink of acute global warming, thus long gone.

    1. Snowy Silver badge

      Re: Our future in a distant past

      CO² is the great filter?

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    I imagine it would be easier to find life on different planets if they splurged their sewage into their rivers and beaches. The telescope could detect how many floaters per square meter.

    Shame only an absolutely failing species would do that.

  4. ITS Retired

    What if they discovered a planet in the Goldilocks zone of a yellow star, with carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen in more or less the correct proportions?

    With all the galaxies full of solar systems, there hast to be a few more of those like ours.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      As the sensitivity of our exoplanet detection technology continually improves, we'll be finding more and more of those.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      We come in peace ...

      If a planet has a breathable concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere then it has plant life equivalent to blue-green algae or something more modern. The fastest way to get humans there could well be to transmit some DNA sequences and tell the locals "some assembly required".

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: We come in peace ...

        If the instructions we send are anything like those for flat-pack furniture I hate to think what the results would be like.

        1. Mike 137 Silver badge

          Re: We come in peace ...

          tell the locals "some assembly required"

          This problem was around long before flat pack furniture. See Insert Knob A in Hole B (Isaac Azimov 1957)

          1. DJV Silver badge

            Re: We come in peace ...

            Thanks! It's been years since I read that (even though I knew what was coming).

          2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: We come in peace ...

            Thx for the hint! That is a nice read on Strontium-90.

      2. bpfh

        Re: We come in peace ...

        IKEA enters the space race…

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We come in peace ...

          One could argue that they're already there, for certain definitions of space...

    3. Tom 7

      The Goldilocks zone? Somewhere the conditions are just right for nicking some else's property?

    4. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Discovery would be fantastic!

      Next would be: How to communicate or travel there. Radio signals would need several thousand years... But let alone within 100 years distance communication would be a problem...

      I skip the "travel there" part for obvious reasons...

      1. EricB123 Bronze badge

        It all depends on the carrier

        "But let alone within 100 years distance communication would be a problem..."

        Maybe that was measured using AT&T's service?

    5. jmch Silver badge

      Given the zillions of planets out there, it's quite likely that such planets exist.

      Given the zillions of planets out there, it's quite unlikely we'll discover any of them any time soon.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    In other NEWS

    Scam call centres have obtained the dialling lists to WASP-39b and are already busy stealing from locals.

  6. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    They love WASP-39 b

    With a transit every four days you can use this planet as test object to tune your instruments.

    Evenyone knows humans could never live there, or even nearby, but it is a nice adjustment helper four your devices.

  7. ThatOne Silver badge

    And that's not all

    > Furthermore, we also tentatively detect a small absorption feature near 4.0 {\mu}m that is not reproduced by these models.

    Still more discoveries to come.

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