Baby’s first exoplanet capture. 🍼 @NASAWebb took its first direct image of a planet outside of our solar system, roughly six to 12 times the mass of Jupiter. Peek into future possibilities of studying distant worlds with Webb: https://go.nasa.gov/3RptBBH
NASA’s Webb Takes Its First-Ever Direct Image of Distant Worldhttps://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/09/01/nasas-webb-takes-its-first-ever-direct-image-of-distant-world/
Quote from: deadman1204 on 09/01/2022 03:09 pmNASA’s Webb Takes Its First-Ever Direct Image of Distant Worldhttps://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/09/01/nasas-webb-takes-its-first-ever-direct-image-of-distant-world/When they write, in the blog post, that "The exoplanet is a gas giant, meaning it has no rocky surface and could not be habitable", I feel they are a being a bit too meat-centric. I mean, it is not inconceivable that some kind of intelligent life could evolve on a gas giant, with communication not based on slapping bits of meat together.... https://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/thinkingMeat.html...But, OK, the planet is only 15-20 million years old, so I guess that is a big constraint...
We've now seen incredible #JWST data for 2 transiting planets. But it's even more amazing to think that, from now until ~2042 we will be getting new #JWST data for an exoplanet roughly every week. This plot from @super_knova shows observations in Cycle 1 alone. It's revolutionary
But a new MIT study suggests that the tools astronomers typically use to decode light-based signals may not be good enough to accurately interpret the new telescope’s data. Specifically, opacity models — the tools that model how light interacts with matter as a function of the matter’s properties — may need significant retuning in order to match the precision of JWST data, the researchers say.If these models are not refined? The researchers predict that properties of planetary atmospheres, such as their temperature, pressure, and elemental composition, could be off by an order of magnitude.“There is a scientifically significant difference between a compound like water being present at 5 percent versus 25 percent, which current models cannot differentiate,” says study co-leader Julien de Wit, assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).“Currently, the model we use to decrypt spectral information is not up to par with the precision and quality of data we have from the James Webb telescope,” adds EAPS graduate student Prajwal Niraula. “We need to up our game and tackle together the opacity problem.”De Wit, Niraula, and their colleagues have published their study today in Nature Astronomy. Co-authors include spectroscopy experts Iouli Gordon, Robert Hargreaves, Clara Sousa-Silva, and Roman Kochanov of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
He and his colleagues raise some ideas for how to improve existing opacity models, including the need for more laboratory measurements and theoretical calculations to refine the models’ assumptions of how light and various molecules interact, as well as collaborations across disciplines, and in particular, between astronomy and spectroscopy.“In order to reliably interpret spectra from the diverse exoplanetary atmospheres, we need an extensive campaign for new accurate measurements and calculations of relevant molecular spectroscopic parameters,” says study co-author Iouli Gordon, a physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “These parameters will need to be timely implemented into reference spectroscopic databases and consequently models used by astronomers."“There is so much that could be done if we knew perfectly how light and matter interact,” Niraula adds. “We know that well enough around the Earth’s conditions, but as soon as we move to different types of atmospheres, things change, and that’s a lot of data, with increasing quality, that we risk misinterpreting.”
JWST is so stable and sensitive that it can not only detect transits of exoplanets in front of stars, it can detect the decrease when the planet goes BEHIND the star and you can't see the reflected light from the planet. 🤯
If the MIRI filter wheel is something they can't do anything about, would they just use it until it breaks, assuming potential breakage wasn't a threat to other stuff?
Quote from: Nomadd on 09/22/2022 03:51 pm If the MIRI filter wheel is something they can't do anything about, would they just use it until it breaks, assuming potential breakage wasn't a threat to other stuff?'use it until it breaks' means the filter wheel can get stuck in any position, and that's the only filter that can be used for all MIRI observations from then on. I suspect they would want to move the filter wheel to a neutral position instead, which gives them more options (makes all filters on the other filter wheel available).