See Jupiter through the eyes of the world’s most powerful telescope

See Jupiter through the eyes of the world's most powerful telescope
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“Honestly, we didn’t expect it to be this good,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor De Pater and Thierry Fouchet of the Paris Observatory led the observations of the largest planet in the solar system using the Webb telescope – an international effort of NASA in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Snapping a picture that moves from orange and yellow at Jupiter’s poles to blues and purples toward the center, several images from the telescope came together to form an overall composite, giving Earth a glimpse of the gas giant.

You can also see faint rings in the background and the “photobombardment” of distant galaxies, according to NASA.

And Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot — a storm big enough to engulf Earth — appears white in these images.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot (lower right) appears white in the Webb NIRCam composite image.

“The numerous bright white ‘blobs’ and ‘streaks’ are likely the very high-altitude cloud tops of condensed convective storms,” ​​said Heidi Hammel, Webb Solar System Observing Interdisciplinary Scientist and University Association vice president for science. Research in astronomy.

NASA said the scientists collaborated with citizen scientist Judy Schmidt to translate the data from the telescope to create composite images that help provide a better look at life on Jupiter.

Schmidt, who lives in Modesto, Calif., said Jupiter is difficult to photograph because of how quickly it rotates.

“This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system,” Fouché said.

Scientists are asking the public to name 20 exoplanetary systems observed by the Webb telescope.  How to submit your idea

But Jupiter is not Webb’s only subject. A space telescope uses infrared light to reveal otherwise invisible aspects of the universe.

Development of the world’s first space observatory began in 2004, and after years of delays, the telescope and its giant golden mirror finally launched on December 25, 2021.

The telescope will look at every phase of cosmic history, including cosmic history it first shines after the big bang the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets that created our universe and populate it today.

The telescope also discovers and observes exoplanetary systems, each consisting of a planet and its host star outside our solar system.

Some of these exoplanets are potentially habitable, and peering into their atmospheres may reveal clues in the ongoing search for life beyond Earth.

CNN’s Ashley Strickland and Megan Marples contributed to this report.

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