Something strange has been unfolding in the solar system closest to our own. Proxima Centauri is only 4 light-years away, and scientists have detected strange signals emanating from one of its planets, Proxima B. What are these mysterious irregularities termed "artificial lights" that have baffled the finest minds in the space community? And may this indicate the existence of intelligent life on the planet? The enigmatic light spotted by the extraordinarily powerful telescope in one of the photographs may be the proof we need to determine that another planet in the universe may contain indications of life. Today, we will examine the information provided by the James Webb space telescope and its actual meaning.
One of the major goals of the James Webb Space Telescope is to seek out habitable exoplanets, where one day we may be able to find evidence of intelligent alien life. However, habitability is not a simple matter, and detecting another "Earth-like" planet may be more difficult than you think.
Around 40 light years away lies a remarkable star system. Five years ago, the TRAPPIST-1 system shot to fame when NASA and its partners announced the discovery of a number of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of a single star. Since then, scientists have been frantic to uncover all information they can about these close planets that might be similar to Earth.
Scientists at NASA had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they launched the cutting-edge James Webb space telescope from the Guiana Space Center on December 25, 2021. Astronomers expected to detect signs of life in the atmospheres of distant planets and galaxies but had no idea that the first photographs from the JWST would alter how we interpret space.
James Webb has two infrared cameras. The first is the near infrared camera (or NIRCam), which is capable of capturing the shorter infrared wavelengths. Second, the MIRI Cam, or mid-infrared instrument, is what you need to see at those longer infrared wavelengths.
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