- BBC News World
The first images of the universe taken by the James Webb Space Telescope have left the scientific world – and many of those who have seen them – astonished.
The amount of detail and, above all, the range of colors and the vibrancy of the images have led astronomers to point out that we are on the cusp of a new era in space exploration.
After the first image was published on Monday – showing a group of galaxies in the region called SMACS 0723 – five more images were released on Tuesday, including the Carina Nebula and Stephen’s quintet.
While releasing these images, NASA also released a document explaining how these records were achieved.
And on its pages you can see two drawings with two images of Jupiter and its moons … although these did not cause the same fuss as the others.
The two images show the surroundings of Jupiter and three of its natural moons: Metis, Europa and Thebe.
The explanation given by the document, prepared by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, is that Jupiter was used to calibrate one of the infrared cameras possessed by the James Webb Telescope, the NIRcam.
“The idea was to test the telescope’s ability to capture moving images, as happens with natural satellites of Jupiter,” they note in the document called “Performance Characterization of the James Webb Space Telescope since its inception-up.”
Scientists chose Jupiter for its qualities: it is a bright and large planet.
Volume helped determine the true purpose of this test; See how a telescope can capture celestial bodies In motion, even with huge and luminous objects behind it.
Another factor is that Jupiter is one of the slowest planets in the solar system, which also somewhat facilitated the tests to tune the telescope.
The result is a bright but raw image of Jupiter and its three moons.
Likewise, according to experts like Lean Crane, of the magazine new worldThe report notes that the results were much better than expected, which opens up another set of possibilities for James Webb.
“Tests have shown that James Webb is better than expected at tracking fast-moving objects, which will be particularly useful for studying comets, near-Earth asteroids, and even interstellar objects,” he explained.
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