September 29, 2022

Surprising details leap out in sharp new James Webb Space Telescope images associated with Jupiter

In addition to the enormous storm referred to as the Great Red-colored Spot, numerous storm systems—seen as small pallid ovals —are also visible, as are small bright plumes of impair particles

The latest images of Jupiter from the Wayne Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are stunners.

Captured on Come july 1st 27, the  infrared images — artificially colored to make specific functions stand out— show fine filigree along the edges of the colored bands and around the Great Red Spot and also provide an unprecedented view of the auroras over the north and south poles.

One particular wide-field image presents a distinctive lineup of the planet, its weak rings and two of Jupiter’s smaller satellites— Amalthea and Adrastea— against the background of galaxies.

“ We’ve certainly not seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible, ” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of Ca, Berkeley, who led the scientific observations of the planet along with Thierry Fouchet, a teacher at the Paris Observatory. “ We hadn’t really anticipated it to be this great, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter along with its rings, tiny satellites and even galaxies in one image. ”

In addition to the enormous storm referred to as the truly great Red Spot, numerous storm systems— seen as small pallid ovals — are also visible, as are tiny bright plumes of cloud particles. The transition between organized zonal flows and the chaotic vortex patterns at  increased latitudes   can also be clearly visible.

“ Although we have observed many of these features on Jupiter before, JWST’s  infrared wavelengths   provide us a new perspective, ” said de Pater. “ JWST’s combination of images and spectra at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths will allow us to study the interplay associated with dynamics, chemistry and temp structure in and over the Great Red Spot and the auroral regions. ”

Amalthea plus Adrastea

JWST’s Near Infrared Digital camera (NIRCam) also captured a wide-field view of Jupiter revealing its rings and two of its moons.

“ This picture illustrates the sensitivity and dynamic range of JWST’s NIRCam instrument, ” Fouchet mentioned. “ It reveals the bright waves, swirls plus vortices in Jupiter’s environment and simultaneously captures the particular dark ring system, 1 million times fainter compared to planet, as well as the moons Amalthea and Adrastea, which are roughly 200 and 20 kms across, respectively. This one picture sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics plus chemistry of Jupiter by itself, its rings and its satellite system. ”

The JWST images had been processed with the help of citizen scientist Judy Schmidt of Modesto, California, who has worked with Hubble Space Telescope and other telescope images for the past 10 years, and Ricardo Hueso, who studies  planetary atmospheres   at the University of the Basque Country in Spain. Hueso is one of several coinvestigators on the Early Release Science (ERS) program, and is top the NIRCam observations of Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Schmidt’s love of astronomy images has led the girl to process images associated with nebulae,   globular clusters , stellar nurseries and more spectacular cosmic items.

“ Some thing about it just stuck with myself, and I can’t stop. I can spend hours and hours every day, ” she said. Her objective, she added, is to “ … try to get it to appear natural, even if it’s not anything close to what your attention can see. ”

Spectroscopic observations of Jupiter’s auroras are scheduled at a later time this year, while detailed spectroscopic observations of Jupiter’s Excellent Red Spot were taken on July 27 within the near-infrared and August 14-15 at mid-infrared wavelengths. The truly amazing Red Spot observations are a joint project between the Earlier Release Science (ERS) team— with de Pater and Fouchet as co-principal investigators— and a program of Solar energy System observations developed by Heidi Hammel of the Association of Universities for Research within Astronomy (AURA), with the Jupiter observations led by Leigh Fletcher, a professor on the University of Leicester in England.

Other UC Berkeley members of the RES team for Jupiter findings are research astronomer Mike Wong and postdoctoral many other Ned Molter.

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