Space Jupiter glows in the light of the James Webb Telescope

Released

placeJupiter shines in the light of the James Webb Telescope

The photos of the new space observatory show the giant planet in a completely different aspect, which surprised even scientists.

1 / 3

The image obtained by combining three filters shows the Aurora Borealis rising well above the two poles, and Jupiter’s Great Spot, normally red, appears here in white.

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS team; Image editing by Judy Schmidt.

A second image taken with two filters expands the field of view.

A second image taken with two filters expands the field of view.

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS team; Image editing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt

We see the thin rings of Jupiter, the two moons Amalthea and Adrastea.  The blurry spots in the lower background are likely galaxies, which are photo-bombing this view.  We also see the influence of the moon o.

We see the thin rings of Jupiter, the two moons Amalthea and Adrastea. The blurry spots in the lower background are likely galaxies, which are photo-bombing this view. We also see the influence of the moon o.

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS team; Image editing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt

The new space telescope has already revealed to us great pictures from space. But James Webb can obviously also photograph celestial objects up close and even in our own solar system. And his filters show them in a whole new light.

We have just observed this in images taken from Jupiter. “To be honest, we didn’t really expect them to be that good,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, as quoted by the NASA. De Pater led observations of Jupiter with Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, as part of an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science program. Webb itself is an international mission led by NASA with its partners ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). “It’s really remarkable that we can see such detail on Jupiter with its rings, tiny satellites and even galaxies in a single image,” she said.

Two photos were taken, both by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which has three special infrared filters that show the planet’s details. Since infrared light is invisible to the human eye, the light has been assigned to the visible spectrum. In general, longer wavelengths appear redder and shorter wavelengths appear blue.

Stunning Aurora Borealis

In the standalone view of Jupiter, constructed from multiple Webb images, the aurora borealis extends to high altitudes above Jupiter’s north and south poles. They glow in a filter tuned for redder colors, which also highlights reflected light from lower clouds and upper nebulae. Another filter, mapped to yellow and green, shows nebulae swirling around the north and south poles. A third filter, on blue, presents light reflected from a deeper main cloud.

The Great Red Spot, a famous storm so big it could engulf the Earth, appears white like other clouds in these views because it reflects a lot of sunlight.

“The brightness here indicates high altitude, so the Great Red Spot has a high-altitude haze, as does the equatorial region,” said Heidi Hammel, Webb interdisciplinary scientist for solar system observations and vice president of science at AURA. “The many bright white spots and streaks are likely cloud tops at very high altitudes from convective thunderstorms.” In contrast, dark bands north of the equatorial region show little cloud cover.

Get to know the giant planet better

In the expanded view, James Webb sees Jupiter, with its faint rings millions of times thinner than the planet, and two tiny moons named Amalthea and Adrastea. The blurry spots in the lower background are likely galaxies, which are photo-bombing this view of Jupiter.

Researchers have already started analyzing this data to uncover new scientific insights into the largest planet in our solar system.


#Space #Jupiter #glows #light #James #Webb #Telescope

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.