The water vapor found by the James Webb telescope in GJ 486b, an exoplanet 26 light years from Earth, could be the first discovery of an atmosphere similar to ours in a rocky celestial body.
The James Webb is not the longest-range telescope in space, but it proves its worth every day. After the auroras of Jupiter, the images of the moons of Neptune or the spectacular photos of nebulae in the galaxy.
NASA’s James Webb Telescope has found water vapor on an exoplanet, GJ 486bin the constellation of Virgo, which could translate into an atmosphere similar to that of Earth.
Water vapor has been discovered on gaseous exoplanets before, but never on a rocky or terrestrial planet similar to Earth, Mars, or Venus. Although The provenance of this item has not yet been confirmed. and astronomers are skeptical.
GJ 486b, 26 light years from us, with a temperature of 426 degrees, and a size 30% larger than our planet, orbits around a red dwarf star that could be the cause of this water vaporand which is studied by astronomers.
The exoplanet is very close to its star, type M, the most common, with cycles of 1 and a half days. A short distance that could lead to the water vapor reaching close to the celestial body and, therefore, it did not mean the existence of an atmosphere in it, the first discovered in a planet similar to Earth.
Water vapor sometimes appears in sunspots
The sun sometimes has water vapor in sunspots, because these areas are much cooler compared to the surrounding surface of the star.
This is the reason why it is believed that the element could come from the red dwarf star GJ 486b and not from the existence of an atmosphere.
The recently discovered exoplanet star is much cooler than the sun, due to its small size.
The researchers therefore believe that it is more plausible that water vapor is concentrated within its starspots and not in an atmosphere on the exoplanet, so we will have to wait to see their conclusions.