The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s latest and most powerful telescope, has captured new images of our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter, presenting it in a never before seen light.
- The photographs published have captured a new view of the planet, presenting in detail its massive storms, colourful auroras, faint rings and two small moons — Amalthea and Adrastea.
- Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot, a storm so big that it could swallow Earth, appeared bright white in the image, since it was reflecting a lot of sunlight, the space agency stated.
- NASA’s $10 billion James Webb Telescope was developed with the assistance of the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
- It was launched to space on December 25, 2021 and is currently observing from Lagrange point 2, approximately 1.5 million km beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The telescope released its first image on July 11th, 2022.
About the ‘James Webb Space Telescope’ –
- JWST is a space telescope jointly developed by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
- It was launched on December 25, 2021, and is currently at a point in space known as the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, approximately 1.5 million km beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
- L2 is one of the five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system, which is directly behind Earth in the line joining the Sun and the Earth.
- It is where the gravitational forces of the two large bodies cancel each other out and it would be shielded from the Sun as it goes around the Sun, in sync with the Earth.
- Objects placed at these positions are relatively stable and require minimal external energy or fuel to keep themselves there and so many instruments are positioned here.
- To look back around 13.5 billion years to see the first stars and galaxies forming out of the darkness of the early universe.
- To compare the faintest, earliest galaxies to today’s grand spirals and understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years.
- To see where stars and planetary systems are being born.
- to observe the atmospheres of extrasolar planets (beyond the solar system) and perhaps find the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe.