Webb telescope captures impressive atmospheric phenomenon on Jupiter

Astronomers supported by the James Webb Telescope, A The jet stream is much faster than a Category 5 hurricane In Jupiter’s lower atmosphere, a phenomenon that, until now, could not be captured.

The jet stream was observed in the atmospheric layer located more than 24 miles above the clouds above the planet’s equator, which is nearly 3,000 miles wide and Moving at a speed of 320 miles per hour.

The event was recorded thanks to Webb’s infrared camera, also known as NIRCam, which uses an array of four filters to detect changes in the planet’s atmosphere.

Webb NIRCam composite image of Jupiter from three filters—F360M (red), F212N (yellow-green), and F150W2 (cyan)—and alignment due to the planet’s rotation.

debt: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS team. Image Processing: Judy Schmidt.

According to the study published in the academic journal, the images were recorded at 10-hour intervals Natural Astronomy.

One of Webb’s first targets was Jupiter. With its infrared ‘vision’, the telescope looked at the gas planet in July 2022 to capture images that will amaze astronomers.

Infrared light is invisible to humans

Infrared light is invisible to the human eye. Thanks to Webb telescope technology, they were used last year to detect many newly discovered celestial features, such as megaclusters of young stars and unexpected pairs of planet-like objects.

New images allow observations of dynamic interactions in Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere.

In a statement, Ricardo Hueso, lead author of the study published Oct. 19 in the journal Nature Astronomy, said, “This is something that completely surprised us.” Hueso is Professor of Physics at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain.

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“What we’ve always seen as fuzzy hazes in Jupiter’s atmosphere now appear as sharp features we can track with the planet’s rapid rotation,” he commented.

The researchers compared air detected by Webb at higher altitudes with air captured from lower layers. Another telescope, by Hubble.

Both telescopes are involved in detecting Jupiter’s jet stream, both of which provide a broad view of the processes taking place within the complex atmosphere and layers. Webb detected small clouds and Hubble provided a view of the equatorial atmosphere.

“We know that the different wavelengths of Webb and Hubble can reveal the three-dimensional structure of storm clouds, but we were also able to use the timing of the data to see how quickly storms develop,” he said in the statement. Michael Wong, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the corresponding Hubble observations.

Even after observing Jupiter’s clouds and wind from several observatories, we still have a lot to learn about Jupiter, and I’m surprised that these jet-like features are hidden from view until these new NIRCam images are taken in 2022. Lee Fletcher, professor of planetary science at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and co-author of the study.

Future observations by the Webb telescope are anticipated More information can be disclosed About the jet stream, such as whether its speed and height change with time.

“Jupiter has a complex but repeatable pattern of wind and temperature in its equatorial stratosphere, measured at these wavelengths above cloud winds and fog,” Fletcher said.

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“If the strength of this new jet is linked to this oscillating stratospheric pattern, we can expect the jet to vary significantly over the next 2 to 4 years. “It will be very exciting to test this theory in the coming years,” he added.

A stunning new image of the Ring Nebula captured by the James Webb Telescope

Misty Tate

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