James Webb Space Telescope shows Jupiter’s auroras and tiny moons

The world’s newest and biggest space telescope is showing Jupiter as never before – auroras and all.

Scientists released the shots of the solar system’s biggest planet on Monday.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWSP) took the photos in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights, and swirling polar haze.

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow Earth, stands out brightly alongside countless smaller storms.

This image provided by NASA shows a false colour composite image of Jupiter obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope on July 27, 2022. The planet's rings and some of its small satellites are visible along with background galaxies. (NASA via AP)
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One wide-field picture is particularly dramatic, showing the faint rings around the planet, as well as two tiny moons against a glittering background of galaxies.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, of the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement.

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She helped to lead the observation.

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest.”

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The infrared images were artificially coloured in blue, white, green, yellow and orange, according to the US-French research team, to make the features stand out.

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Nasa and the European Space Agency’s £8.5 billion successor to the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed away at the end of last year and has been observing the cosmos in the infrared since summer.

Scientists hope to behold the dawn of the universe with Webb, peering all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies were forming 13.7 billion years ago.

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The JWST was launched in December 2021, and is currently positioned about one million miles (1.6 million km) from Earth.

It can detect light which began travelling towards Earth 13bn years ago, moments after the Big Bang.