12 out-of-this-world exoplanet discoveries in 2023

This year saw planetary scientists add a number of exciting new worlds to our growing 5,000+ catalog of exoplanets. Among them are planets like we have never seen before. Here is a look back at some of the standout exoplanet discoveries of 2023.

1. JWST Identifies Heavy Elements in Distant Gas Giant’s Atmosphere

The James Webb Space Telescope found that exoplanet Smertrios has an atmosphere that defies expectations. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Earlier in the year, observations made with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) confirmed the presence of heavy elements — carbon and oxygen — in the atmosphere of the distant exoplanet HD149026b. The planet is more commonly known as Smertrios.