New Jupiter Pics Captured By James Webb Telescope Show Rings, Auroras
James Webb image of Jupiter with its aurorae. (Source: Twitter)

The powerful new James Webb space telescope by NASA has captured images of Jupiter that show the gas giant in great detail.

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

The images, captured on July 27, have been digitally enhanced, processed and artificially coloured to make specific features stand out.

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


“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley, exclaimed in the blog.

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

The latest images have been captured by the James Webb observatory’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which has three specialised infrared filters that showcase details of the planet.

In the standalone view of Jupiter, created from a composite of several images from Webb, auroras extend to high altitudes above both the northern and southern poles of Jupiter, said NASA.

“The auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. A different filter, mapped to yellows and greens, shows hazes swirling around the northern and southern poles. A third filter, mapped to blues, showcases light that is reflected from a deeper main cloud.”

One wide-field image presents a unique lineup of the planet, its faint rings and two of Jupiter’s smaller moons – Amalthea and Adrastea – against a background of galaxies, said NASA. The fuzzy spots in the lower background are likely galaxies “photobombing” this Jovian view, it added.

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

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