Webb’s enormous mirror and precise instruments joined forces to capture the most detailed measurements of starlight filtering through the atmosphere of a planet outside our Solar System to date.

The spectrum of light – which contains information about the makeup of a planetary atmosphere 1,150 light-years away – reveals the distinct signature of water. The strength of the signal that Webb detected hints at the significant role the telescope will play in the search for potentially habitable planets in the coming years. Webb’s powerful new view also shows evidence of haze and clouds that previous studies of this planet did not detect.