Jupiter in the James Webb Telescope Lens

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Image of the planet Jupiter captured by the James Webb Telescope

Photo: NASA/James Webb

It is possible to see in unparalleled detail to date the powerful winds that sweep it, its many storms, including the Great Red Spot, and its aurora borealis and australia.

One of the images shows the faint rings surrounding the planet, as well as the two small moons Amalthea and Adrastaea with galaxies in the background.

Landmarks

  • Jupiter is the fifth planet in the system;
  • It has at least 79 natural satellites;
  • It is located 778 million kilometers on average from the Sun;
  • It is so imposing that it could contain the other seven planets of the system;
  • It is a gas giant (like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). These planets are said to be gaseous because of the thick atmosphere that surrounds their core, which is relatively small in size.

Scientists associated with the Webb mission were surprised by the quality of these first images of the gas giant. We really didn’t expect them to be this good!said astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, in a statement.

Both shots were taken using the NIRCam imager, which has three specialized infrared filters that help highlight certain details of the planet. Since infrared light is invisible to the eye, it was then mapped in the visible spectrum. In general, longer wavelengths appear redder and shorter ones bluer.

NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) launched the space telescope late last year. Its scientific mission began this summer.

The telescope was designed to observe the outer reaches of the cosmos even further than ever before. One of its main objectives will be to detect the light of the very first stars and galaxies, which appeared more than 13.5 billion years ago.

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