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The Morning After: The Webb Telescope discovers an exoplanet almost the same diameter of Earth

LHS 475 b is just 41 light years away.

James Webb Telescope in outer space on orbit of Earth planet. Sci-fi space collage. Astronomy science
Just_Super via Getty Images
Mat Smith
Mat Smith|@thatmatsmith|January 12, 2023 7:15 AM

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has recorded another inaugural milestone: its first confirmed discovery of an exoplanet. LHS 475 b is just 41 light years away and has a diameter 99 percent of Earth’s. But there’s more work to be done. The JWST should be able to figure out the atmospheres of Earth-sized exoplanets. The research team is still working to determine what, if any, sort of atmosphere the rocky mass may have. However, the planet's surface appears to be around 300 Celsius, more than a little warmer than Earth, so don’t expect colonies. If they discover cloud cover, it could mean a greenhouse world climate closer to our neighboring planet Venus.

– Mat Smith

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The Morning After: The Webb Telescope discovers an exoplanet almost the same diameter of Earth