Webb detects neon in young star system, provides insight into planet formation

Published by on 11/20/2023 UTC

In 2008, observations from NASA’s now-retired Spitzer infrared space telescope hinted at the presence of neon within the protoplanetary disk of Sun-like star SZ Chamaeleontis (SZ Cha). However, Spitzer’s instruments could not confirm whether this reading was correct. Over a decade after Spitzer’s results were published, the joint NASA, European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency James Webb Space Telescope observed SZ Cha and directly detected distinct amounts of neon in the protoplanetary disk of SZ Cha — confirming Spitzer’s observations from 2008.

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