Astronomy News Today
Astronomers are combing through fresh data from the James Webb Space Telescope in a never-ending quest to find ever-more-distant galaxies. However, the observatory is still studying a variety of objects closer to home.
Jupiter is one of the objects of these observations. NASA published a few early JWST photographs of the giant planet on July 14, but the telescope has continued to revisit it as part of a mission designed to demonstrate JWST's ability to investigate both our own solar system and the distant universe.
That possibility can be seen in a raw image captured by the telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument on July 27, 2022, which shows Jupiter's huge storm, known as the Great Red Spot, as well as bands in the planet's atmosphere.
And the image, along with Webb's other findings, are intended to assist scientists better comprehend the atmosphere, with tasks such as describing its thermal structure and layers, as well as researching phenomena such as winds and auroras.
NIRCam observed Jupiter for about 11 minutes using what scientists call the F212N filter, which sees light with a wavelength of 2.12 microns, around the length of a typical bacteria. The filter was chosen for the observatory because its data may be used to research molecular hydrogen.
According to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, which manages JWST, the observatory's objectives for next week are Jupiter's volcanic moon Io, the massive asteroid Hygeia, and the supernova remnants Cassiopeia A.
However, observation schedules are subject to alter at any time. Furthermore, not all of JWST's data is being made public right once; for many of its observations, the scientists who requested the data are given exclusive access for a year to help their research.
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