TL;DR: During the commissioning part of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA pointed it at fellow photo voltaic system inhabitant Jupiter to assist ensure the entire devices had been working as supposed. Those early samples had been fairly attention-grabbing however not almost as spectacular as these absolutely processed photographs from a member of the citizen science group.
The composite picture of Jupiter seen above was captured utilizing Webb’s NIRCam with three totally different filters: F360M (crimson), F212N (yellow-green), and F150W2 (cyan). Infrared gentle is invisible to the human eye, so the sunshine from the scope has been mapped onto the seen spectrum.
The auroras on the north and south poles of Jupiter are mapped to a reddish coloration. Another filter mapped to greens and yellows highlights hazes swirling across the poles, whereas a 3rd filter mapped to blues showcases gentle from a deeper major cloud. The Great Red Spot is generally white as a result of it’s reflecting daylight.
The wide-field view of Jupiter is arguably much more mesmerizing. In this shot, we will see Jupiter’s rings, that are 1,000,000 occasions fainter than the planet itself, in addition to two of its moons: Amalthea and Adrastea. The fuzzy specks within the background are believed to be distant galaxies.
Judy Schmidt, the citizen scientist that processed the photographs, mentioned the planet is more durable to work with than most different targets due to how briskly it rotates. As such, she needed to digitally alter a number of the photographs to repair alignment points when stacking them.
Schmidt has no formal schooling in astronomy however took up picture processing a few decade in the past after an ESA picture contest sparked her ardour. She mentioned her guiding philosophy with regard to picture processing is to attempt to get the tip outcome to look pure, even when it isn’t something near what our eyes can see.
NASA’s Juno house probe left Earth in 2011 en path to Jupiter. The craft entered a polar orbit on July 5, 2016, and has since made dozens of flybys. Last yr, NASA prolonged its science mission by means of September 2025.