(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The world’s newest and largest space telescope is showing Jupiter like never before, auroras and all.
Scientists published the pictures of the largest planet in the solar system on Monday.
The James Webb Space Telescope took the pictures in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights and swirling polar fog. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to engulf Earth, stands out brightly alongside countless smaller storms.
One wide-field photo is particularly dramatic, showing the faint rings around the planet as well as two small moons against a background of glowing galaxies.
“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all pretty amazing,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater of the University of California, Berkeley, who helped lead the observations.
“We really didn’t expect it to be this good, to be honest,” she added in a statement.
Webb NIRCam composite image of Jupiter from three filters—F360M (red), F212N (yellow-green), and F150W2 (cyan)—and alignment due to the planet’s rotation.
NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Judy Schmidt
The infrared images are artificially colored in blue, white, green, yellow and orange, according to the US-French research team, to make the features stand out.
The $10 billion successor to NASA and the European Space Agency The Hubble Space Telescope has taken off at the end of last year and observes the cosmos in the infrared of summer. Scientists hope to see the dawn of the universe with Webb, peering all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies formed 13.7 billion years ago.
The observatory is located 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth.
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