James Webb unveils jaw-dropping new images of Jupiter’s ‘giant storms powerful winds’

NASA reveals first image from James Webb Space Telescope

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NASA’s JWST, which is the most expensive space telescope yet, captured a rare look at the complex weather patterns on the surface of Jupiter. Captured on July 27 by the $10billion (£8.4billion) spiritual successor to Hubble, the infrared images, which were artificially coloured, show fine patterns along the edges of the coloured bands of the gas giant, and around the Great Red Spot.

The pictures also offered an unprecedented look at the auroras over the planet’s north and south poles.

NASA unveiled the images saying: “With giant storms, powerful winds, auroras, and extreme temperature and pressure conditions, Jupiter has a lot going on.

“Now, the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope has captured new images of the planet. Webb’s Jupiter observations will give scientists even more clues to Jupiter’s inner life.”

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


Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, who led the study with Professor Thierry Fouchet said: “We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible.

 “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites and even galaxies in one image.”

In addition to the enormous storm referred to as the Great Red Spot, a number of other storm systems—seen as small pallid ovals —are also visible, as are tiny bright plumes of cloud particles.

In the image, the transition between organized zonal flows and the chaotic vortex patterns at higher latitudes is also clearly visible.

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