Webb Telescope Shows Jupiter In A New Light

Aug 24, 2022

NASA released a series of new photos of Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. The photos were taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. They showed never-before-seen details of the planet.

Jupiter is a gas giant. It's mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. The planet is fifth in line from the Sun. Its days are only 10 hours long. That's because it spins so fast. So it's hard to observe from Earth. The Webb Telescope has been a game-changer. The telescope is named for early US space agency director James E. Webb. It cost $10 billion to build.

The telescope uses infrared cameras. It captured the huge planet and some of its moons. The pictures showed Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot. The spot appears white as it reflects the sun. They also depicted storms, auroras, and even faint, Saturn-like rings of space dust. Humans can’t see infrared light. So, scientists colored the images to make these features stand out. 

Image of Jupiter.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” said the astronomer who led the observations. “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest.”

The Jupiter images join a growing library of new pictures NASA has taken with the Webb Telescope. In July, they published photos of nebulae, galaxies, and dying stars. Scientists are hoping more images are coming. 

Photos from Webb Telescope; NASA.

The sentence “Its days are only 10 hours long” is _______. (Common Core RI.5.2; RI.6.2)
a. a central idea
b. a supporting detail
c. a counterargument
d. a quote
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