NASA has released new footage of Jupiter captured by it 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 provide a more complete picture 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, it calls for comparison. Webb’s snapshots, studied side-by-side, revealed startling new details about 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 at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, told Insider. “I think JWST gives us that extra feeling.”
Often described as the successor to Hubblethe web Launched On December 25, 2021, after more than two decades of development. from this moment, The value of the telescope is 10 billion dollars It has traveled more than a million miles from Earth and is now in a stable gravitational orbit, collecting infrared light and staring at objects that emit light 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 photos of the buyer with him 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 stunning aurora borealis, while light reflected from clouds appears blue. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – a giant storm that has been circulating for centuries – is so bright with sunlight reflected that it appears white.
The Hubble Space Telescope can also detect Jupiter’s aurora borealis when it picks up 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 light shows 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 kilometers above the clouds that you can see in the visible images. “With Jupiter, we can see Jupiter’s infrared auroras in the upper atmosphere extending above the planet,” O’Donoghue said.
While Hubble can see 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 this distance. It really shows how effective JWST is when shooting in low light.”
New web images for buyer Two of the planet’s moons are shown, 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, and it was like that released in julyBut the new shot was taken from 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 ever,” 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 visible in newly released images.
“The JWST image is, of course, amazing,” Boston University astronomer Luke Moore told Insider. “The level of spatial detail is particularly impressive in infrared — thanks 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 an image of the “photobombing” of galaxies from Webb’s image of Jupiter, according to NASA. These faint galaxies are hidden in the Hubble image of Jupiter, where the planet – and its moon Europa – can be seen on a grainy black surface.
Thanks to Webb’s ability to collect infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, he can cut through cosmic dust and see far away. One of the main goals of the new telescope is to find galaxies at such a distance that their light has traveled almost in the entire history of the universe to reach Webb. NASA says Webb can see beyond other telescopes, such as the Hubble, and take pictures of very faint galaxies that emitted their light in the first billion years or so after the Big Bang.
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