Unexpected Water Discovery from the James Webb Telescope


The James Webb Space Telescope made its second groundbreaking observation in a matter of weeks. The researchers used the telescope’s near-infrared camera, also known as the main belt comet, in the main asteroid belt They used it to detect the first known sample of water vapor around a comet.

Scientists already thought that comets could maintain glaciers when they were relatively close to the Sun, but until now they had no conclusive evidence. Usually comets, both of which are as far from the Sun as the ice can withstand. Kuiper Belt or Oort CloudIt was assumed to be in .

This finding, however, created a new puzzle. While carbon dioxide normally represents 10 percent of potentially vaporized material in a comet, Webb’s instruments were unable to detect it in the comet called Read. The research group estimates that CO2 either dissipates over billions of years or forms in a relatively warm part of Read’s Solar System that lacks CO2.

Read was one of the first objects used to form the main belt comet category. We can only observe them now, as the Webb telescope is the first equipment powerful enough to study these comets in detail.

More observations will be required to determine whether Read’s CO2 deficiency is a coincidence or something shared by other main belt comets. Team member Stefanie Milamsuggests that the sample collection mission could be helpful in learning more about comets like this one.

The Kuiper Belt begins roughly at the edge of Neptune’s orbit, while the Oort Cloud is roughly two light-years away.


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