News Update

James Webb: Space Telescope Displays ‘Incredible’ Jupiter Views

The world’s most powerful and largest space telescope has revealed unprecedented views of Jupiter. In July, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) took pictures of the Solar System’s biggest planet. The images show giant storms, auroras, moons and rings surrounding Jupiter in detail that astronomers have described as ‘incredible.’ The infrared photos were artificially coloured to enhance the features. This is because infrared light is invisible to the human eye. 

The $10bn (£8.5bn) James Webb Space Telescope is an international mission led by Nasa, the US space agency, with its partners from the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. Nasa said that in the stand-alone view of Jupiter, created from a composite of multiple images from the telescope, auroras are seen extending to high altitudes above both the southern and northern poles of Jupiter. Auroras are essentially light shows in the skies above the planet caused by interactions with particles streaming away from the Sun.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater of the University of California, who played a crucial role in the project. “We hadn’t expected it to be this good, to be honest,” she added.