September 26, 2022

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They pointed the James Webb Telescope at Jupiter.  The astronomers were surprised.  "we didn't expect"

They pointed the James Webb Telescope at Jupiter. The astronomers were surprised. “we didn’t expect”

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Jupiter is the most easily observable planet in the solar system. It is huge and relatively close to Earth, and is one of the brightest objects in the sky. For this reason, the first details in the planet’s atmosphere (the equatorial belts, the Great Red Spot) can be easily seen even in a small amateur telescope (and Galilean satellites even in cheap binoculars). However, a buyer’s very clear and detailed picture can only provide us with a powerful picture telescope James Webb.

An unusual image of Jupiter. The King of the Solar System is targeted by Webb

The recently launched James Webb Space Telescope is an instrument used primarily for observing deep-sky objects, but the researchers decided to test its capabilities by placing its 6.5-meter-high mirror on Jupiter. The results of the observations surprised the astronomers themselves.

The photo shows the smallest details in the atmosphere of the buyer. The most striking features are the Great Red Spot (it’s only white in this image) and dozens of smaller and larger atmospheric turbulences. “Make way for the king of the solar system,” she wrote on Twitter. NASA. The agency noted that amateur astronomer Judy Schmidt of California participated in the process of creating the image.

The near-infrared image was captured using the NIRCam instrument. Infrared light is clearly invisible to the human eye, so the researchers had to translate the data from Webb into images in visible light colors. Longer wavelengths are shown in red and shorter wavelengths are shown in blue.

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You can even see the rings of the planet. ‘We didn’t expect it to be this good’

However, this is not the only image that astronomers have been able to capture. The second is more interesting because it covers much larger areas area Good-bye. Moreover, it is finished in a bit more natural colors and shows more detail.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; Image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt

Most of all, the huge auroras at the north and south poles of Jupiter, as well as the delicate glow in the upper layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere, are amazing. Even the planet’s rings aren’t easy to overlook, which, from Webb’s perspective, are a million times darker than the planet itself.

Distinctive rings of rock and dust are a hallmark of Saturn, but they also accompany other gas giants in the Solar System. However, the rings of Jupiter are so faint that only the probe discovered them Voyager 1 in 1979. Previously, only the planetary rings of Saturn and Uranus were known.

Honestly, we didn’t expect it to be this good. It is really remarkable that we can see the details of Jupiter in a single image, along with its rings, small moons and even galaxies. [sÅ‚abo widoczne w tle – red.]

said astronomer Imke de Paterz of the University of California, Berkeley, who co-directed the observations.

You will notice more attention in the image also two small moons of Jupiter – Adrastea and Amalthea. The first is closer to the planet in the image and is very small (it has an irregular shape and dimensions of about 14-20 km). Amalthea is a much larger moon (about 250 x 146 x 128 km), discovered in the 19th century. Due to its larger size, it is more visible in the photo.

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It should be noted that Jupiter orbits a total of about 80 moons that have been discovered so far (only Saturn has more of them). Galileo discovered the four largest (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) in 1610 with the help of a small telescope that he made himself. You can even see a trace of sunlight reflecting off the first moon in the Webb image above.

Scientists confirm this the new The image from the Webb Telescope not only looks great, but also provides them with a lot of interesting data for their research. It will now take weeks to process and analyze the data from Webb in detail to learn more about the largest planet in the solar system.

More astrological curiosities can be found at Gazeta.pl