JWST Scans an Ultra-Hot Jupiter’s Atmosphere

This artist's illustration shows WASP 18 b, a hot Super-Jupiter that orbits its star in less than one day. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI).

When astronomers discovered WASP-18b in 2009, they uncovered one of the most unusual planets ever found. It’s ten times as massive as Jupiter is, it’s tidally locked to its Sun-like star, and it completes an orbit in less than one Earth day, about 23 hours.

Now astronomers have pointed the JWST and its powerful NIRSS instrument at the ultra-Hot Jupiter and mapped its extraordinary atmosphere.

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