New James Webb Telescope Photos Show Rings and Auroras on Jupiter

The powerful new James Webb Space Telescope Nasa captured images of Jupiter that show the gas giant in detail.

The space agency, in a blog post about the images, said they will give scientists even more clues about the inner life of the largest planet in the solar system.

The images, captured on July 27, have been digitally enhanced, processed and artificially colored to bring out specific features.

It shows some ornamental patterns around the Great Red Spot and offers an unprecedented view of auroras over Jupiter’s north and south poles.


“To be honest, we didn’t really expect it to be this good,” exclaimed planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, on the blog.

“It’s really remarkable that we can see details of Jupiter with its rings, its tiny satellites and even its galaxies in a single image,” she added.

The latest images were captured by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) at the James Webb Observatory, which has three specialized infrared filters that show detail on the planet.

In the standalone view of Jupiter, created from a composite of several Webb images, the auroras extend to high altitudes above Jupiter’s north and south poles, NASA said.

“Auroras glow in a filter that’s mapped to more red colors, which also highlights reflected light from lower clouds and upper mists. A different filter, mapped to yellows and greens, shows mists swirling around the north and south poles.A third filter, mapped to blue, highlights light reflected from a deeper main cloud.

A wide-field image shows a unique range of the planet, its faint rings and two of Jupiter’s smaller moons – Amalthea and Adrastea – against a backdrop of galaxies, NASA said. The blurry spots in the lower background are likely galaxies “photobombing” this Jovian view, he added.

The Webb Telescope was launched from French Guiana atop an Ariane 5 rocket on Christmas Day 2021.

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