Astronomers used the James Webb telescope to capture the first direct image of a planet outside the solar system, NASA reported, as quoted by BTA.
The exoplanet is a gas giant. The image, seen through four different light filters, demonstrates how the telescope’s powerful infrared technique can easily image worlds outside the solar system and guide scientists for future observations to contribute more information about them.
“This is a turning point not only for “James Webb”, but also for astronomy in general” said Sasha Hinckley, lecturer in physics and astronomy at the University of Exeter, UK and leader of the observations with a large international team.
“James Webb” is an international project of NASA in cooperation with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The imaged exoplanet HIP 65426 b has a mass six to 12 times that of Jupiter. It is 15-20 million years old. Astronomers discovered the planet in 2017 using the European Southern Observatory’s SPHERE instrument in Chile and imaged it then with short infrared light beams. The James Webb far-infrared observation reveals new details that Earth-based telescopes are unable to pick up.