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NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets

11 Jul 2018, 13:26 UTC
NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets ESA, NASA, M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), and STScI

In April 2018, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Its main goal is to locate Earth-sized planets and larger “super-Earths” orbiting nearby stars for further study.  One of the most powerful tools that will examine the atmospheres of some planets that TESS discovers will be NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Since observing small exoplanets with thin atmospheres like Earth will be challenging for Webb, astronomers will target easier, gas giant exoplanets first.

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