The world is clamoring for more after being awed by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) photos that NASA provided. Fortunately, some keen observers found another outstanding photograph from Webb buried away in the commissioning report made public last week. In this report on Webb’s scientific performance during the previous six months, it is revealed that the telescope also took pictures of Jupiter as part of the performance testing.
During a test to see how well it tracked moving objects, Webb’s NIRCam took pictures of the gas giant and eight other objects. However, We can see that Jupiter was captured using two distinct filters in the side-by-side photos. NIRCam employed a short-wavelength filter on the left and a long-wavelength filter on the right.
JWST was able to capture images of Jupiter as well as three of its many moons, Europa, Thebe, and Metis. Even the shadow of Europa may be made out to the left of the Great Red Spot. This is an exciting glimpse of what is to come because NIRCam was able to detect even the minute details, such as Jupiter’s rings.
Of the nine test targets that JWST took pictures of, Jupiter was the slowest, yet all of the pictures were successful. The team is encouraged by the findings and believes that in the future it may be possible to follow even faster objects, which “possibly opens up science for near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), comets closer to perihelion, and interstellar objects.”
The testing that Webb underwent after being launched into orbit is covered in the commissioning report. And the report makes it very obvious that it is starting its mission after exceeding all pre-launch projections. The paper declares that “JWST has began the beginning of many years of scientific discovery” thanks to its revolutionary powers.
Astronomy enthusiasts with keen eyes observed that Jupiter was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.