June 9, 2023


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The James Webb Space Telescope detects ice at the ringed asteroid Chariklo

This illustration shows what the Centaur Chariklo and its rings could look like, based on our current understanding.

The most extensive plans need a little luck, even in space.

In October 2022, A.J James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) viewed as CharikloIt is a small, ringed asteroid blocking a star. This event, called a cloud, is marked as Webb’s first. At the end of the month, Webb turned towards Chariklo again and scored another victory: for the first time, astronomers analyzing telescope data detected clear signs of water ice, the existence of which had only been hinted at until now. These observations will guide astronomers to a better understanding of the nature and behavior of small bodies in the outer reaches of our solar system.