Just a few days ago, the first data from the James Webb Space Telescope began to arrive, showing a high contrast between the images obtained earlier from the Hubble telescope. Currently, scientists decided to walk around the corners of the native system and presented photographs of Jupiter, which once again showed that $10 billion investment into telescope was absolutely worth it.
The images of Jupiter were taken during commissioning of the James Webb Telescope, when mission members were calibrating and testing the observatory’s four science instruments and other systems. Commissioning was completed earlier this week, and Webb officially began scientific operation on Tuesday, July 12.
The James Webb Telescope was launched into orbit on December 25, 2021. Its purpose is to lift the veil of mystery over the dark past of our universe by studying the primordial galaxies and the stars within them.
The new photos of Jupiter show the giant planet’s cloud bands, its famous Great Red Spot and even some of its dim rings in great detail. The images also show several moons, including the cold world of Europa, which hides a vast ocean beneath its icy shell.
“I couldn’t believe that we saw everything so clearly, and how bright they were,” Stefanie Milam, Webb’s deputy project scientist for planetary science based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in the same statement. “It’s really exciting to think of the capability and opportunity that we have for observing these kinds of objects in our solar system.”