Jupiter’s Auroras, Tiny Moons Captured in New Webb Images

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The world’s newest and biggest space telescope is showing Jupiter as never before, auroras and all.

Scientists released the shots Monday of the solar system’s biggest planet.

The James Webb Space Telescope took the photos in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights, and swirling polar haze. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow Earth, stands out brightly alongside countless smaller storms.

The most dramatic wide-field photo shows two moons and faint rings in the surface of the planet against a backdrop of sparkling galaxies.

Continue reading: These Five Photos from the James Webb Space Telescope Make Your Head Blow! Here’s What They Can Tell Us

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, of the University of California, Berkeley, who helped lead the observations.

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” she added in a statement.

Webb NIRCam composite image of Jupiter from three filters—F360M (red), F212N (yellow-green), and F150W2 (cyan)—and alignment due to the planet’s rotation.

NASA, ESA CSA, Jupiter ERS Team image processing by Judy Schmidt

According to U.S.French researchers, the infrared images have been artificially colored with blue, white green, yellow, and orange to highlight the highlights.

NASA and the European Space Agency’s $10 billion successor to the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed away at the end of last year and has been observing the cosmos in the infrared since summer. Webb will allow scientists to see the beginning of the universe, allowing them to look back at when first stars and galaxies formed 13.7 billion years ago.

The observatory can be found 1 million miles away (1.6 millions kilometers) from Earth.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. All content remains the responsibility of the Associated Press.

Here are more must-read stories from TIME

Reach out to usSend your letters to


Related Articles

Back to top button