The newest and largest space telescope reveals Jupiter’s auroras, tiny moons

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The world’s newest and largest space telescope shows Jupiter like never before, aurora and all.

Scientists released images Monday of the solar system’s largest planet.

The James Webb Space Telescope took the images in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights, and swirling polar haze. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm large enough to engulf Earth, stands out alongside countless smaller storms.

One wide-field image is particularly dramatic, showing faint rings around the planet, as well as two small moons against a glowing background of galaxies.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all very incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, of the University of California, Berkeley, who helped lead the observations.

“We really didn’t expect it to be this good, to be honest,” he added in a statement.

The infrared images were artificially colored with blue, white, green, yellow and orange, according to the US-French research team, to make the features stand out.

NASA and the European Space Agency’s $10 billion Hubble Space Telescope successor to the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed up late last year and have been observing the cosmos in infrared since the summer. Scientists hope to witness the dawn of the universe with Webb, looking all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies formed 13.7 billion years ago.

The observatory is positioned 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth.

(AP)