Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

New Jupiter images show the James Webb telescope’s incredible full potential

Updated Sep 15th, 2022 12:48PM EDT
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Last week, NASA finally began releasing the first data collected using the James Webb space telescope. The data includes over 40 terabytes of content, including several new Jupiter images. While all of the data is exciting, the images of Jupiter showcase just how much potential James Webb has to collect data around bright objects as it observes our universe.

New Jupiter images showcase the true potential of the James Webb

new Jupiter images from James Webb
You can just barely make out Jupiter’s rings in this image captured by James Webb. Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, and B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)

We’ve always known that the James Webb was going to be more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. With over 30 years separating them, there’s just no way for the older technology in Hubble to keep up. However, we didn’t know that the space-based telescope’s full potential would be revealed in new Jupiter images.

The new images of Jupiter were captured in the weeks before James Webb focused on its first five targets. NASA revealed the first full-color images from James Webb last week, but this newest data was captured before those photos were taken.

The data here demonstrates how effectively Webb can track solar system targets and produce images using its NIRCam and other instruments on board. The new Jupiter images include a beautiful capture of the gas giant and its moon Europa on the left.

Yet another set of images showcases the gas giant in the center, with Europa and some of its other moons spread off to the side. It’s a truly stunning setup and one that you can’t help but gawk at a little.

Seeing rings

new Jupiter images from James Webb
Jupiter’s rings are visible in this image captured by James Webb. Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, and B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)

What’s really exciting and interesting about these new images isn’t their beauty. While stunning, they lack the deep colors and striking features showcased in James Webb’s first full-color images. But that doesn’t make these new Jupiter images any less important.

See, what these images showcase is just how powerful James Webb is. The instruments aboard the spacecraft are so strong that they can actually see other entities when observing bright solar system objects like Jupiter. This means we could finally be able to detect plumes of material spewing from moons like Europa.

Previously, capturing detailed images of objects close to bright solar system entities was difficult. That’s because the telescope and its instruments still need to filter through all the light it picks up. Looking at these new James Webb images, it looks like we may finally have a chance to do just that. This means this telescope is going to help us learn a lot about our universe.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.