Space Stories: JWST Confirms Earth-Size Exoplanet, Russia Sending Rescue Mission to ISS, and IO Erupts

Image (Credit): James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) data associated with exoplanet LHS 475 b. (NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI))

Here are some recent stories of interest.

Webb Space Telescope: “NASA’s Webb Confirms Its First Exoplanet

Researchers confirmed an exoplanet, a planet that orbits another star, using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for the first time. Formally classified as LHS 475 b, the planet is almost exactly the same size as our own, clocking in at 99% of Earth’s diameter. The research team is led by Kevin Stevenson and Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, both of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

ABC News: “Russia Will Launch New Capsule to Return Space Station Crew

Russia will send up a new capsule next month to bring back three space station crew members whose original ride home was damaged, officials said Wednesday. The two Russians and one American will stay several extra months at the International Space Station as a result of the capsule switch, possibly pushing their mission to close to a year, NASA and Russian space officials told reporters.

MSN Science Alert: “Massive Volcanic Outburst Detected on Jupiter’s Hellish Moon Io

In the space around Jupiter, a torus of plasma created and fed by Io’s volcanic emissions grew significantly richer between July and September of last year and persisted until December, showing the moon underwent a spate of volcanic activity that released a huge amount of material. For something that’s just a little bit bigger than Earth’s Moon, Io is an absolute beast of volcanism. It’s bristling with volcanoes, with around 150 of the 400 known volcanoes erupting at any given time, creating vast lakes of molten lava.