The James Webb International Space Telescope captured the first images of Jupiter and its moon on Thursday (14). The massive planet is seen through infrared radiation, which highlights its different color bands. In the image you can also see the Great Red Spot, which appears as a large white dot. The slick is actually a storm large enough to swallow the ground.
(Video: Watch the first images released by the James Webb Super Telescope.)
See the first images released by the James Webb Super Telescope.
The material photographed includes images and spectra of several asteroids, taken to test telescope instruments before scientific operations officially begin on July 12. The experiment showed that Webb tracks solar system targets and produces images and spectra with unprecedented detail.
“Combined with the deep field images released the other day, these images show Jupiter a full understanding of what Webb can observe, from faint and distant observable galaxies to planets in the cosmic backyard you can see with the eye,” said Brian Holler, a scientist at the Institute of Technology. Science Space Telescope in Baltimore, who helped plan these observations, told NASA, “Naked of his real backyard.”
Jupiter in the center and its moons Europa, Thebes and Metis – Image: NASA
On the left is a moon called Europa, which likely harbors an ocean beneath its thick, icy crust. It’s the target of NASA’s next mission, dubbed Europa Clipper.
The great advantage of these records is the proof that Webb can observe satellites and their rings near bright bodies in the solar system, such as Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
“I couldn’t believe we saw everything so clearly, and how bright it was,” said Stephanie Milam, deputy project scientist for Webb Planetary Science, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It’s really exciting to think about the ability and opportunity that we have to observe these kinds of objects in our solar system.”
Jupiter and some of its moons visible through the 3.23-micron NIRCam filter – Image: NASA
In addition, the telescope easily captured some of the rings of Jupiter, which are especially distinguished in the image of the long-wavelength filter of NIRcam, the infrared camera. However, according to Milam’s perception, the appearance of the rings in one of the first web images of the solar system is “absolutely amazing and unbelievable.”
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