How the Webb telescope could ultimately help protect Earth

Wed, 12 Jan 2022 22:42:12 GMT
Space Daily

Riverside CA (SPX) Jan 13, 2022 The James Webb Space Telescope, the most complex and expensive...

UC Riverside astrophysicist Stephen Kane's group will be using the telescope to look for planets like Venus in other parts of the galaxy.

In addition to work with the Webb mission, Kane is also joining NASA on missions to Venus expected to launch after 2028.

Here, he breaks down some unique aspects of the Webb, explains how the separate Venus projects intersect, and how both might benefit Earth.

Q: How will you be using Webb's technology to help you understand more about Venus? Also, why are you studying Venus?

In my work, I'm trying to answer two questions: 1) how did Venus get to be the way it is? and 2) how commonly does this hellish state occur elsewhere?

Our work with the Webb is about the latter - are there other Venuses? We'll be using Webb to measure the atmospheres of exoplanets - planets around stars other than our sun - and trying to determine whether they're more like Earth or Venus.

We are going to do these measurements on planets where we already know how long it takes them to orbit their stars, how close they are to their stars, their size and their mass.

Can Venus science help solve this planet's problems?

Understanding how runaway greenhouse gases work can tell us how to prevent that future.

There's a lot of variability in predictions 50 or 100 years out because there are limits to how much we know about how planetary processes influence each other.

Summarized by 78%, original article size 1372 characters