Webb Telescope Sees Jupiter and Its Auroras in a New Light

JWST view of Jupiter
The James Webb Space Telescope's NIRCam imager produced this composite image of the Jupiter system using orange and cyan filters. The image shows Jupiter's auroras as bright rims at the poles. The planet's rings and two of its moons, Amalthea and Adrastea, are also visible. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is designed to probe the farthest frontiers of the universe, but newly released images of Jupiter prove that the observatory can also bring fresh perspectives to more familiar celestial sights.

The infrared images reveal Jupiter’s polar auroras and its faint rings as well as two of its moons — plus some galaxies in the far background. The planet’s Great Red Spot is there as well, but because it’s seen through three of JWST’s specialized filters, it looks white rather than red.

JWST’s new perspective should give scientists a better sense of how the complex Jupiter system is put together.

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They’re Here! Check out the First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope!

A mosaic of images released today from Webb. Image credit: NASA/ESA/STSCI

This is it! Today, people worldwide were treated to the first images acquired by James Webb! After years of delays, we are finally seeing the sharpest images of the Universe taken by the most powerful telescope ever deployed. The world was given a sneak peek yesterday when President Biden, VP Kamala Harris, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and other NASA officials released the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the Universe to date. But at 10:30 Eastern (07:30 Pacific), all the remaining first images were released!

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Astronomer Working With Webb Said the new Images “Almost Brought him to Tears.” We’ll see Them on July 12th

The James Webb Space Telescope being placed in the Johnson Space Center’s historic Chamber A on June 20th, 2017. Credit: NASA/JSC

The scientific and astronomical community are eagerly waiting for Tuesday, July 12th, to come around. On this day, the first images taken by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be released! According to a previous statement by the agency, these images will include the deepest views of the Universe ever taken and spectra obtained from an exoplanet atmosphere. In another statement issued yesterday, the images were so beautiful that they almost brought Thomas Zarbuchen – Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) – to tears!

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First Images From JWST are Coming on July 12th

What's JWST going to show us first? There's a sneak preview on Monday. Artist impression of the James Webb Space Telescope. Credit: ESA.

We’re about to reach a milestone that many thought we would never reach. After years of wrangling, cost overruns, threats of cancellation, and lobbying by the science community, the James Webb Space Telescope is only weeks away from its first images.

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Now, We can Finally Compare Webb to Other Infrared Observatories

The evolution of infrared astronomy, from Spitzer to WISE to JWST. Image credit: Andras Gaspar.

The images released by the James Webb Space Telescope team last week aren’t officially ‘first light’ images from the new telescope, but in a way, it feels like they are. These stunning views provide the initial indications of just how powerful JWST will be, and just how much infrared astronomy is about to improve.

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Webb Has Almost Reached its Final, Coldest Temperature

Image: James Webb Space Telescope
NASA's James Webb Telescope, shown in this artist's conception, will provide more information about previously detected exoplanets. Beyond 2020, many more next-generation space telescopes are expected to build on what it discovers. Credit: NASA

 

Launched on December 25, 2021 from ESA’s launch site in Kourou, French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reached its final orbit at the L2 Lagrange point on January 24, 2022. It has since performed several operations to get it ready for its observing mission which should begin in about a month.

As part of getting it ready for its mission, NASA has been cooling off its instruments, such as the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), to operating temperatures. Now that they have reached that point, all that’s left to cool down are the mirrors.

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Wondering About the 6 Rays Coming out of JWST's Test Image? Here's why They Happen

At the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI) in Baltimore, Maryland, NASA engineers are busy aligning the mirrors and instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In the meantime, the mission team has provided us with another glimpse of what this observatory – a successor to the venerable Hubble Space Telescope – will see once it is fully operational. The latest teaser is a “telescope alignment evaluation image” of a distant star that looks red and spiked!

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Advanced Civilizations Could be Using Dyson Spheres to Collect Energy From Black Holes. Here’s how we Could Detect Them

Black holes are more than just massive objects that swallow everything around them – they’re also one of the universe’s biggest and most stable energy sources.  That would make them invaluable to the type of civilization that needs huge amounts of power, such as a Type II Kardashev civilization.  But to harness all of that power, the civilization would have to encircle the entire black hole with something that could capture the power it is emitting. 

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James Webb’s Upper Stage is off to the Launch Site

Credit: NASA

In November (or early December) of this year, after many excruciating delays, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will finally launch to space. As the most advanced and complex observatory ever deployed, the James Webb will use its advanced suite of instruments to observe stars, exoplanets, and galaxies in the near and mid-infrared spectrum. In the process, it will address some of the most enduring mysteries about the nature of the Universe.

When the time comes, the James Webb will fly aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch facility near the town of Korou, French Guayana. Overnight on August 17th, 2021, the upper stage of that Ariane 5 began making its way in its cargo container from the ArianeGroup facility in Bremen, Germany, to Neustadt port, where it will board a ship bound for the ESA spaceport in French Guiana.

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Observing the Night Side of Venus is Actually Pretty Tricky

Observing the dark side of planets is hard. In the visible spectrum, they are almost unobservable, while in the infrared some heat signatures may come through, but not enough to help see what is going on in a planet’s atmosphere.  Now a team from the University of Tokyo think they’ve developed a way to monitor weather patterns on the night side of one of the most difficult planets of all – Venus.

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