- NASA has released new snapshots of Jupiter that it captured James Webb Space Telescope in August.
- The Hubble Space Telescope He also took pictures of Jupiter, but Webb reveals details that Hubble could not see.
- Astronomers say Webb’s images give a more complete view of the aurora, rings and moons of Jupiter.
while the Hubble Space Telescope taking great pictures of Jupiter for decades, New pictures of Jupiter Captured by the James Webb Space Telescope in August, call for comparison. Webb’s snapshots, studied side-by-side, revealed startling new details of the gas giant that Hubble couldn’t figure out.
“JWST doesn’t give us anything clearer than Hubble here, but it does give us something different,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, told Insider. “I think JWST gives us an extra feel.”
Often described as the successor to Hubbleweb Launched On December 25, 2021, after more than two decades of development. since then, The telescope is worth 10 billion dollars It has traveled more than a million miles from Earth and is now positioned in a stable gravitational orbit, collecting infrared light and staring at objects whose light was emitted more than 13.5 billion years ago, which Hubble cannot see. This is because this light has been converted into infrared wavelengths that Webb specifically designed to detect.
The result: Compared with Hubble, Webb provides sharper, clearer images, and new details of Jupiter’s aurora borealis, storm systems, rings, and small moons.
Webb took new buyer photos with it near infrared camera (NIRCam), which translates infrared light into colors the human eye can see. The image of Jupiter taken by Webb, top right, has been artificially colored to highlight certain features. Red highlights the planet’s amazing aurora, while light reflected from clouds appears blue. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – a gigantic storm that has been circulating for centuries – is so bright with reflected sunlight that it appears white.
The Hubble Space Telescope can also detect Jupiter’s aurora borealis when it captures ultraviolet light. In the left image above, Hubble captured visual observations of the planet’s northern lights in a composite.
However, Webb’s infrared image shows the auroras in more detail, illuminating the planet’s poles.
The aurora borealis are colorful displays of light that are not unique to Earth. Jupiter has the brightest aurora borealis in the solar system, according to NASA. On both Earth and Jupiter, the aurora occurs when charged particles, such as protons or electrons, interact with the magnetic field – known as the magnetosphere – that surrounds the planet. Jupiter’s magnetic field is about 20,000 times stronger from Earth.
In his research, O’Donoghue studies Jupiter’s upper atmosphere, several thousand miles above the clouds you can see in the visible images. “Using Jupiter, we can see the infrared auroras of Jupiter in the upper atmosphere extending above the planet,” O’Donoghue said.
While Hubble can spot Jupiter’s aurora borealis when capturing ultraviolet light, Webb’s infrared image shows the auroras in greater detail.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” O’Donoghue said, adding, “I can’t believe we got that shot from such a great distance. It really speaks to how effective JWST is at capturing low-light photos.”
New web photos for buyer Two moons of the planet appear, Amalthea and Adrastea. Adrastea, the smaller of the two, is only 12 miles wide, according to NASA. By comparison, the Hubble image of Jupiter shows the oceanic moon Europa, which is 1,940 miles wide.
Astronomers believe that the ocean of Europe makes it a promising place looking for life within our solar system.
Webb took pictures of icy Europe, which was so released in july, but the new shot is taken at an angle from which Europe cannot be seen. Instead, Webb’s new Jupiter image shows two smaller, fainter moons that can be seen more clearly in the infrared. Jupiter has 79 moons, according to NASA.
“This is one of my favorite pictures of Jupiter of all time,” O’Donoghue said.
Webb also discovered Jupiter’s thin rings, which are made up of dust particles that formed when cosmic debris collided with four of Jupiter’s moons — including Amalthea, which is also depicted in newly released images.
“The JWST image is, of course, amazing,” Boston University astronomer Luke Moore told Insider. “In particular, the level of spatial detail is impressive in the infrared – due to JWST’s large primary mirror – and the contrast is amazing, where you can see incredibly faint rings, as well as a brighter planet.”
The blurry patches lurking at the bottom of the frame in a Webb image are likely the “photobombing” galaxies image of Webb’s image of Jupiter, according to NASA. These faint galaxies are hidden in Hubble’s shot of Jupiter, where the planet – and its moon Europa – are seen against a grainy black expanse.
Due to Webb’s ability to collect infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, he is able to cut through cosmic dust and see past far away. One of the main goals of the new telescope is to find galaxies so far away that their light would travel almost the entire history of the universe to reach Webb. NASA says Webb is able to look farther than other telescopes, such as Hubble, taking pictures of very faint galaxies that have emitted their light in the first billion years or so after the Big Bang.
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