It’s no secret Jupiter has a lot going on with extreme temperatures, pressure, huge storms, and auroras. NASA’s James Webb Telescope has captured some stunning new images of the planet.
Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley said, “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,”.
“It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image,”.
She led the observations of Jupiter with Thierry Fouchet from the Paris Observatory.
“This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system,” shared Fouchet.
In the image of Jupiter below compiled from several images from Webb you can see the enchanting auroras that extend to altitudes above and below the north and south poles of Jupiter.
As infrared light is invisible to humans, three filters have been used to map it onto the visible spectrum
Filter one maps redder colours which highlight the auroras and light reflected from upper hazes and lower clouds.
Filter two maps greens and yellows, showing the haze swirling around the poles.
Filter three maps blues showing the light that is reflected from the deeper main cloud.
The Great Red Spot, Jupiter’s most famous storm which could swallow the earth whole appears white in these filtered images as do some clouds as they reflect a lot of sunlight.
Heidi Hammel, Webb interdisciplinary scientist said, The brightness here indicates high altitude, so the Great Red Spot has high-altitude hazes, as does the equatorial region. The numerous bright white ‘spots’ and ‘streaks’ are likely very high-altitude cloud tops of condensed convective storms.”