As the first wave of images have been released and dissected by the public, it’s now time for our first planetary image from James Webb!
And, of course, it had to be Jupiter!
This image is an Infrared Image with false colouring to differentiate between wavelengths of light. You can see a huge amount of detail, such as small storms, hazes, and even the aurora!
This is actually a composite image, made of data taken from three filters on the Near-IR camera aboard the telescope. The red colour comes from the filter for longest wavelengths, “middle” wavelengths from the yellow filter, and shorter wavelengths from the cyan filter. It’s essentially like taking our human vision and moving it to the IR a bit.
Here is a bigger image including moons and rings:
This image is made of an orange filter and cyan filter.
The little white dot on the left is the moon Amalthea, the moon as the leftmost point of the dusty ring is Adrastea, and the straight lines at the South and North pole are from diffraction spikes.
What’s interesting about these two images is how bright the EZ band and the Great Red Spot is (although it’s not very red here). Since these two regions are at high altitude and their cloud cover reflects sunlight – and hence infrared – very well. The darker regions are lacking in clouds and altitude, so don’t reflect as much Infrared.
Learn more about Judy Schmidt here. She was the image processor for this project (an extremely difficult task) and has a vast amount of experience in this field!
Honestly, I’m so excited for the next image from JWST and would love to see more planetary images!
Read more about the images here.