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

“Honestly, we didn’t expect things to be this good,” planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, said in a press release.

De Pater and Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, led the observations of the largest planet in our solar system with the Webb Telescope, itself an international NASA project with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Painting a picture that changes from orange and yellow at Jupiter’s poles to blue and purple near the center, multiple telescope images combined to form an overall composition and give Earth a glimpse of the gas giant.

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

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

“The numerous bright white ‘spots’ and ‘streaks’ are likely very high altitude cloud tops from condensed convective storms,” ​​said Heidi Hummel, Webb Interdisciplinary Solar System Observation Scientist and Vice President for Science at the Association of Universities for research. Astronomy.

The scientists collaborated with citizen scientist Judy Schmidt to convert the data into composite images from the telescope that help better understand Jupiter’s life, NASA said.

Jupiter is hard to capture in images because of how fast it spins, Schmidt of Modesto, Calif., said.

“This single image sums up the scientific activity of our Jupiter System Program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system,” Fouche said.

Scientists are asking the public to name 20 exoplanetary systems observed by the Webb Telescope.  Here's how to submit your idea

But Jupiter isn’t Webb’s only subject. The space telescope uses infrared light to reveal the invisible aspects of the universe.

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

The telescope will observe every phase of cosmic history, including the first explosions after the Big Bang that created our universe, and the formation of the galaxies, stars and planets that fill it today.

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

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

Ashley Strickland and Megan Marples of CNN contributed to this report.

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