On the James Webb Space Telescope’s Astonishing Jupiter Image #SpaceSaturday

It’s sort of difficult to remember Neptune. What’s special about Neptune? Pluto’s the furthest out, even if it it’s only a planet sometimes. Mercury’s the fastest, Venus is the hottest, Mars is the closest, and Saturn has those rings! But Jupiter? Jupiter’s the biggest — and it’s got that big red dot. So it’s all the more amazing that the new image of Jupiter is so arresting even when there’s no red to be seen. Here’s more from Centauri Dreams:

The new Jupiter photos from JWST’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) are unusual, enough so that I decided to fold one into today’s post… Imke de Pater (UC-Berkeley), who led the observations, noted that both tiny satellites and distant galaxies show up in the same image. And here’s Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, who likewise worked on the observing effort:

“This image illustrates the sensitivity and dynamic range of JWST’s NIRCam instrument. It reveals the bright waves, swirls and vortices in Jupiter’s atmosphere and simultaneously captures the dark ring system, 1 million times fainter than the planet, as well as the moons Amalthea and Adrastea, which are roughly 200 and 20 kilometers across, respectively. 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.”

See and learn more!


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