NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope continues to show what it can do.
On Tuesday (July 12), A James Webb Space Telescope The team unveiled the mission The first pictures in scientific quality, a handful of stunningly detailed shots of the deep and distant universe. And today (July 14), the team released some tantalizing images of Jupiter, highlighting the telescope’s $10 billion ability to study targets much closer to home.
“Along with the profound field images released the other day, these images of Jupiter Show a full understanding of what Webb can observe, from faint and distant observable galaxies to planets in our cosmic backyard that you can see with the naked eye from your actual backyard,” Brian Holler, a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore who helped In planning buyer feedback, He said in a statement (Opens in a new tab).
The images of Jupiter were taken during Webb’s commissioning period, when members of the mission team were calibrating and examining the observatory’s four scientific instruments and other systems. Commissioning concluded early this weekand Webb officially began its science operations on Tuesday.
Web, which It was launched on December 25, 2021It is designed to delve deeper into the universe’s past, studying the first stars and galaxies that ever formed. But the infrared observatory is a highly capable multi-purpose instrument, and astronomers will use it to investigate a variety of cosmic objects and phenomena — including some found in our own. Solar Systemas buyer’s pictures show.
These images are quite detailed, capturing the giant planet’s cloud bands, its famous Great Red Spot and even some of its faint rings. Several moons appear in the images as well, including Europaa frozen world with a huge ocean under its icy shell.
“I couldn’t believe we saw everything so clearly, how bright it was,” Stephanie Milam, deputy project scientist for the Web for Planetary Science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in the same statement. “It’s really exciting to think about the ability and opportunity that we have to observe these kinds of objects in our solar system.”
The web team also noticed many asteroids During commissioning, testing the telescope’s ability to study fast-moving targets. Team members said Webb passed these tests with flying colors.
“Everything went brilliantly,” Milam said.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).