James Webb telescope: Discovery of water on distant planet

James Webb Telescope will help in discovery of water on distant planet. This telescope will help the researchers in measuring the chemical makeup of atmospheres of planets across other stars. Researchers hope that, one or more of the planets will show chemical signature of life.


  • According to researchers, Life might exist in solar system where there is liquid water. For instance, on subsurface aquifers on Mars or in oceans of Europa (Jupiter’s moon).
  • However, search of life across these places is difficult, as it is hard to reach there.
  • In order to detect life, scientists would need to send a probe which can return to Earth with physical sample.

Theoretical calculations

According to theoretical calculations, there are about 300 million potentially habitable planets alone in Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered more than 5,000 exoplanets till date, of which hundreds are potentially habitable planets. using indirect methods that measure how a planet affects its nearby star.

How will scientists detect life on distant planet?

Astrobiologists will study about starlight, that has interacted with surface or atmosphere of a plant, in a bid to detect life on distant planet. If the surface or atmosphere was transformed by life, the light will carry a clue “biosignature.”

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

It is a space telescope, that has been designed specifically to conduct infrared astronomy. It is the largest optical telescope in space. Its improved sensitivity and infrared resolution allow it to look too old, distant, or faint objects for Hubble Space Telescope. It was launched on December 25, 2021 from Kourou in French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket.



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