How James Webb’s exoplanet measurements have been interpreted mistaken

The researchers put probably the most generally used opacity mannequin to the check to see what atmospheric properties the mannequin would derive if it have been tweaked to imagine sure limitations in our understanding of how gentle and matter work together.

Primarily based on their evaluation, the workforce concluded that present opacity fashions by the Webb telescope hit an “accuracy wall” the place they weren’t delicate sufficient to inform whether or not a planet has an atmospheric temperature of 300 Kelvin or 600 Kelvin, or whether or not a sure fuel takes up 5 % or 25 % of an atmospheric layer.

“That distinction issues to ensure that us to constrain planetary formation mechanisms and reliably determine biosignatures,” stated Niraula.

Not all is misplaced, nevertheless. The workforce additionally discovered that each mannequin produced a “good match” with the info that generated a lightweight spectrum from that chemical composition that was shut sufficient to, or “match” with the unique spectrum.

“We discovered that there are sufficient parameters to tweak, even with a mistaken mannequin, to nonetheless get match, which means you would not know that your mannequin is mistaken and what it is telling you is mistaken,” de Wit defined.

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