HomeNewsNew picture of Jupiter’s auroras

New picture of Jupiter’s auroras

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Webb NIRCam composite picture of Jupiter system. Credit score: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Crew; picture processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt.

The James Webb Area Telescope appears to like displaying off. In a brand new magical picture from the telescope, we’re handled to auroras and hazes on the fuel large of Jupiter, regardless of the telescope not being made for taking completely satisfied snaps of planets.

This picture was created from a composite of a number of pictures from Webb. It comes from the telescope’s Close to-Infrared Digicam (NIRCam), which has three specialised infrared filters that spotlight particulars of the enormous planet.

“We hadn’t actually anticipated it to be this good, to be sincere,” stated planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the College of California, Berkeley.

After all, infrared gentle is invisible to the human eye, so this isn’t what somebody would really see whereas Jupiter. As a substitute, the infrared gentle has been mapped onto the seen spectrum, with the longest wavelengths showing redder and the shortest wavelengths are proven as extra blue.


Learn extra: The James Webb Area Telescope information is a treasure trove of fabric: what are we hoping to seek out?


However what’s most enjoyable in regards to the new picture is the colorful auroras at each poles.

Webb NIRCam composite picture of Jupiter from three filters and alignment as a result of planet’s rotation. Credit score: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Crew; picture processing by Judy Schmidt.

The auroras shine in a filter that’s mapped to redder colors, which additionally highlights gentle mirrored from decrease clouds and higher hazes. A special filter, mapped to yellows and greens, exhibits hazes swirling across the northern and southern poles. A 3rd filter, mapped to blues, showcases gentle mirrored from a deeper principal cloud.

No picture of Jupiter is full with out the signature Nice Crimson Spot – a well-known storm so massive it might swallow Earth. It seems white on this picture, as do different clouds, as a result of they’re reflecting a substantial amount of daylight.

Webb NIRCam composite picture of Jupiter system. Credit score: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Crew; picture processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt.

Scientists collaborated with citizen scientist Judy Schmidt to translate the Webb information into pictures.



Jacinta Bowler

Jacinta Bowler is a science journalist at Cosmos. They’ve a undergraduate diploma in genetics and journalism from the College of Queensland and have been printed within the Finest Australian Science Writing 2022.

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