JWST detects clouds on ‘hot Jupiter’ we thought had clear skies

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) is already confounding expectations with a surprising new discovery: It detected evidence for clouds on an exoplanet that was thought to have completely clear skies.

As part of the first set of science data from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA released the transmission spectrum for WASP-96b, an exoplanet located 1,150 light-years away. WASP-96b is a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet, a gas giant that orbits extremely close to its star. (“WASP” stands for “Wide Angle Search for Planets,” which has used arrays of robotic cameras in the Canary Islands and South Africa to discover almost 200 exoplanets so far.)

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