August 8, 2022

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The James Webb Space Telescope also looks 'close up': the first image of Jupiter

The James Webb Space Telescope also looks ‘close up’: the first image of Jupiter

NASA

NOS . News

  • Ivo Landmann

    Online Editor

  • Ivo Landmann

    Online Editor

The new James Webb Space Telescope has been hailed in recent days due to its crystal-clear images from the most distant regions of the visible universe. But a telescope can also magnify objects in the cosmic backyard. The US space agency NASA released images of Jupiter, which used the telescope mainly to test its instruments.

At first glance, it is a rather faint picture of the gas giant, especially in comparison with the images we are accustomed to, for example, Juno probe. But NASA is excited: infrared images show not only the planet, but also several moons and thinner rings of Jupiter bright and sharp.

“I can’t believe everything can be seen with such clarity and brightness,” said Stephanie Milam, a planetary scientist at NASA. According to Brian Holler, a fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the images show just how diverse James Webb can be. “This illustrates the full range of what Webb can observe, from the most distant galaxies to planets that you can see for yourself with the naked eye.”

JWST / NASA

Images of Jupiter with a different wavelength, also showing the rings

After months of testing and calibration, the first “real” images of the new telescope were released on Tuesday. Foot. Comparisons with the space telescope’s predecessor, the Hubble, are now being shown in more and more locations.

  • NASA

    SMACS 0723, a group of galaxies 5 billion light-years away seen by Hubble (left) and Webb (r)
  • NASA

    Stephan’s Quintet, a group of galaxies in the constellation Pegasus through Hubble (l) and Webb (r) lenses
  • NASA

    The Carina Nebula as seen by Hubble (left) and Webb (r)

In the near future, Webb will direct his huge mirror at many cosmic bodies. Scholars can submit requests for it. The telescope will be operational next summer two outer planets be targeted. These are planets revolving around a star other than the Sun.