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NASA Showcases Spectacular Images of Jupiter from James Webb Space Telescope

NASA Showcases Spectacular Images of Jupiter from James Webb Space Telescope

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest.”

We have been following the travels of the James Webb Space Telescope. The last time we checked on the instrument, it returned sensational images of deep space objects (e.g., nebulas and galaxies of interest).

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released spectacular images of an object closer to home: The gas giant Jupiter.

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

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

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

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” she added in a statement.

Specialized filters helped produce the image.

The images were taken with the telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which is capable of detecting light from the earliest stars and galaxies.

JWST uses a broad range of infrared light to ‘see’ back in time, which is done by analyzing the time it takes for light to travel through space.

And it used three specialized infrared filters to reveal Jupiter’s stunning details.

Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, but the light was mapped onto the visible spectrum, a range of wavelength we can see.

One image, which shows Jupiter alone, is a composite of several images and shows the auroras blowing in bright orange, yellow and green above both the northern and southern poles of Jupiter.

Scientists are already gleaning a great deal of new information about the planet’s atmosphere with the new images. The less-than colorful images of the normally vibrant gas giant are due to pictures generated from the processed infrared data.

“The brightness here indicates high altitude — so the Great Red Spot has high-altitude hazes, as does the equatorial region,” said Heidi Hammel, Webb interdisciplinary scientist for solar system observations and vice president for science at AURA. “The numerous bright white ‘spots’ and ‘streaks’ are likely very high-altitude cloud tops of condensed convective storms.”

You might be wondering why the colors of the images are not what we’re used to seeing when it comes to Jupiter. Webb observes light in the infrared range, not the visible light range, so the colors of the two images are not the colors we observe with the naked eye. The infrared data has been mapped onto the visible light spectrum, so these images are “false-color,” not “true-color.”

And that brings about an interesting point about how Webb actually works. When Webb “takes an image,” it’s not actually snapping a photo and beaming it down to Earth — scientists only receive raw data that indicates brightness as measured by Webb’s receptors. As such, scientists must process that data to create the images.

Typically that’s done by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is headquartered in Baltimore. But in the case of this pair of Jovian images, the data was processed by citizen scientist Judy Schmidt of Modesto, California. (For the wide-field image, she collaborated with Ricardo Hueso, a co-investigator on the observations from the University of the Basque Country in Spain.)


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I heard that the images and data coming back don’t correlate with the Big bang theory and the scientists are fit to be tied. They are holding back both until they an come up with an explanation as they fear all they have left to explain what they see is, Creationism.

    Colonel Travis in reply to gonzotx. | August 24, 2022 at 10:35 am

    There has been debate over the big bang for a while. It’s never made a lick of sense to me. Something out of nothing? That’s not how physics works. Something out of something is more like it. How that happened is a mystery, and there are theories about that, but I don’t think such an event contradicts or disproves the existence of God either. I think it matches up just fine.

      But you can bet they’ll reject any quotations from the first few verses of Genesis.

      So, what’s the explanation? Duhhhh …

        taurus the judge in reply to DSHornet. | August 24, 2022 at 11:27 am

        As well they should for a number of reasons but the most obvious is Genesis is written for a non technical reader- its not a peer reviewed research paper written in scientific jargon and anyone who tries to get empirical science from that type of text needs to start by trying to get hard scientific machines from a comic book.

        I purposely NEVER use scripture to defend creation or even attack the BBT.

        First, I attack false science with legitimate science and the BBT fails the test right there.

        Second, it greatly disarms the opposing side as you use their own science against them.

        Third- regardless of which camp a person is in ( BBT’er or Creationist)- there is no third option. ( we were created by a God who is beyond our science and Universal laws OR we evolved naturally from “whatever” start state we were in)

        When the BBT fails, Creation is the default.

        The real difficulty is keeping the false science, politics and emotions out of the mix.

          It has always been my personal view that there is no conflict at all between the two. After all, what was at that point where the universe was created (according to BBT) if not God? How else could you get something from nothing?

          taurus the judge in reply to taurus the judge. | August 25, 2022 at 11:05 am


          When one does a deep dive into both the science of the BBT and the actual account of Genesis ( removing translational and transliteration errors and in proper context)

          There is no conflict with the LEGITIMATE science of “creation” using the “process” of the BBT.

          God is the author of Science and Physics and elsewhere He has used the physical elements to suit his will and on a few occasions overruled the laws He created as it suited Him.

          The problem with the BBT is not the mechanics of the process (I too agree God likely used many of them during the creation account in Genesis)- the “problem” is the politicization of science which parades under the banner but refusing to apply itself evenly on this subject.

          taurus the judge and txvet2:

          I’ve always been a big fan of the saying, “God is a scientist, not a magician.”

          Creationism and the BBT/evolution/”natural selection” are not mutually exclusive, as the scientific class claims.

          Think about it: Genesis 1 doesn’t say there was nothing, just that the Earth was formless and empty, with darkness over the waters. To the lay audience the Bible is intended for, that means something was there. Then God spoke, “Let there be light,” and there was, produced from matter already in existence.

          Similarly, something cannot come from nothing, so in the BBT something must have been there. I hypothesize a supermassive black hole containing all matter from when the pre-BBT universe collapsed on itself, which then destabilized, dissolved, and released its energy and matter in a massive light-producing explosion. But that’s just me.

          But what is the functional difference between a supermassive black hole dissolving on its own through as-yet-unknown means, versus God starting with what’s there and nudging it to explode when He speaks? In either case, we start with something floating in darkness, followed by a flash of light, and everything else in the universe coming into existence.

          And suddenly scientists are becoming philosophers over this question, trying to answer the “why” rather than the “what” and “how” with which they’re much more familiar.

          taurus the judge in reply to taurus the judge. | August 26, 2022 at 10:25 am

          @ Archer

          This is a very complex study way far beyond the scope of a post but in general terms.

          You: Genesis 1 doesn’t say there was nothing, just that the Earth was formless and empty, with darkness over the waters. To the lay audience the Bible is intended for, that means something was there.

          It means much more than that. The correct placement and context strongly implies something laid waste to, and the darkness is symbolic- not “absence of physical light” (metaphor)

          You: Then God spoke, “Let there be light,” and there was, produced from matter already in existence.

          Same as above and that “light” is also a metaphor for “perfect” (good, right etc.)

          Go down to V14 on the 4th day. That’s when God created the sun, moon, stars, night v. day, etc.

          The first part of Genesis is describing something significantly different than the physical creation of the Earth.

    Kemald71 in reply to gonzotx. | August 24, 2022 at 11:09 am

    No, the Big Bang Theory is not really in doubt. New images from the Webb telescope do call into question aspects of current theory regarding early galaxy formation and that will have to be addressed, but the Big Bang Theory itself is not in any danger.

      taurus the judge in reply to Kemald71. | August 24, 2022 at 11:15 am


      The BBT is really fundamentally and fatally flawed at almost every turn. ( when analyzed without political influence and IAW Newtonian and Euclidian methods).

      This is what bore the “compromise” “Intelligent Design” decades ago.

      That said, this is also excluding what’s known as “Young Earth Creation” which is equally fundamentally flawed.

      Its a long debate and I’ve done many over the decades and BBT still implodes when measured against the very sciences it claims to use to support it.

        There’s no doubt that there are flaws in the Big Bang Theory, but none are “fatal.” It’s still the accepted explanation to account for the cosmic background radiation and the redshift of light from distant objects. Don’t conflate unanswered questions with “fatal flaws.” Our understanding of cosmology is an ongoing process and there is certainly merit in scientific debate, but there is still a preponderance of evidence supporting the Big Bang. If you would like to debate specific flaws (“IAW Newtonian and Euclidian methods” lol) I will happily engage.

          taurus the judge in reply to Kemald71. | August 25, 2022 at 11:08 am

          Here’s a fatal one- don’t go further until you answer it. Consider yourself engaged and I already know the “stock answers’ you are about to give and am ready there too.

          Where did all the matter and energy that “banged” come from? ( 1st law)

          Then, what was the “prime mover” ( the spark)?

          That should take you from now to infinity to answer but I’ll be waiting.

          tom_swift in reply to Kemald71. | August 25, 2022 at 4:02 pm

          It’s still the accepted explanation to account for the cosmic background radiation and the redshift of light from distant objects.

          But the distance of objects is estimated from the amount of red shift. So of course redshifted objects are calculated to be distant. It’s baked into the calculations. A great deal of what we know is assumed. We don’t even know that the speed of light is constant. And why not? Because speed is expressed as distance divided by time. And what is our standard for distance? Why, the speed of light, and the distance traveled by light (in vacuum) in a time of something very close to one three hundred millionths of a second. So if c changes, so does the length of a meter. Voila, instant constant! And speaking of constants, if other constants changed by tiny percentages over billions of years, we’d see a red shift entirely independent of velocity. By my calculations, a very slight increase in the Planck constant would do it. No doubt there are others I don’t happen to have thought of.

          What we think we know about the distant, the tiny, the gigantic, and the ancient is based on a web of assumptions, most of them not unreasonable, but that’s a far cry from being bulletproof.

      It turns out the scientists who have research challenging the Big Bang Theory have been silenced in much the same manner as those of us challenging pandemic policy and anthropogenic climate change have been silenced.

Beautiful. It’s nice to see the best of what the human mind can achieve.

That’s a lot of words to say “artist’s conception”. I have yet to hear a single valid argument – economic or Constitutional – for why a single dollar of taxpayers’ money should be spent on making pretty pictures.

JWST and HST are the NEA for nerds who can’t paint.

When the BBT fails, Creation is the default.

That is not true. Creation wasn’t the default before BBT and it won’t be after BBT. The alternative to BBT is Steady State.

Creation is not a scientific theory at all; it’s a historical theory. Science is fundamentally concerned not with the past, or with what actually happened, but with the present, and what kind of hypothetical past can be deduced from the present. History is concerned with what actually happened in the past. It looks to the present for evidence of the past, because there isn’t anywhere else to look; but it bears in mind that most present evidence is of very limited utility in determining what actually happened.

Think of a clock that currently says 3:00 PM, and ask what time did it show three hours ago? To a scientist, that question really means, given the clock’s current state, what time three hours ago does it predict? So the scientist will analyze the clock, determine how accurate it is, and will give a range of times it could have shown 3 hours ago. E.g. if it’s accurate to within 1 minute per hour, then the scientist will confidently say that 3 hours ago it showed a time between 11:57 and 12:03.

But a historian isn’t interested in that. To a historian the original question is meant literally. Three hours ago, in objective time, what did the clock say? And he might say: I know the answer to that question, because I’ve been watching this clock for the past four hours, or because I have a photo of this clock from three hours ago, or I have interviewed witnesses, and I have determined that three hours ago it said 6:00 PM; five minutes ago someone came and changed it to 2:55, and that’s why it’s now showing 3:00.

The scientist may also have seen this evidence, but to him that’s irrelevant, because it doesn’t answer the question as he sees it. An external force coming in and changing it is not relevant to science. 12:00, give or take the instrument’s inherent inaccuracies, is still the correct scientific answer.

When we study the world we can see clear evidence that it is billions of years old, and we can project what it would have looked like at various stages of its evolution. There is considerable evidence in the universe that it began with a Big Bang. If that evidence comes into question then we will go back to Steady State. But historically we know, because the Bible tells us, that the word is actually just about a month short of 5780 years old. 5781 years ago it did not exist, even though we can project exactly what it would have looked like had it existed. And we can do the same for a billion years ago, but (as we currently understand it) not for 15 billion years ago. Hence the Big Bang, a hypothetical event which appears to be the earliest point at which we can project how the universe looked.

    taurus the judge in reply to Milhouse. | August 25, 2022 at 7:12 am


    Out of professional courtesy and the level of technical accuracy I have seen over the history of your posts, I’m going to let this one slide because your entire missive is so fundamentally and fatally flawed relative to the post and context it is responding to that it defies reason.

    I can only conclude that you are totally bereft in the sciences in general as they apply to the subject and either:

    Someone posted on your account without your knowledge

    You were seriously under the influence of “altering substances”

    That entire post was absurd and meaningless and I know you are much better than that.

      Taurus, I’d love to hear what flaws you find in it.

        taurus the judge in reply to Milhouse. | August 25, 2022 at 10:22 am

        Here’s the first

        Creation ( the event- and the process) is very much a legitimate scientific theory (systematic study of the structure and behavior of an event through observation and experiment). Your claim of it being not and is just a history defies intellectual comment because its so plainly STUPID.


        >>>The alternative to BBT is Steady State.

        Now, lets move to whatever is more stupid than stupid

        IN SCIENCE ( you clearly need a basic primer because now you have exhibited a less than grammar school understanding of the entire discipline).

        The BBT would be defined as the “catalyst” or “prime mover” or Driver since in any given process it would be the BEGINNING. (You have to design the pump before you build it, buy it before you install it and commission it before you put it into production)

        “Steady State” is a CONDITION of a FUNCTION OF OPERATION after initial (whatever) is completed. ( as opposed to an “unsteady state” where there are deviations from established norms)

        So, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a “state of function” to be an alternative ( equal and parallel) to be interchanged with a state of construction.

        Next- your last paragraph is mainly composed of the “young earth” stuff ( which I addressed by reference) which in and of itself is scientifically invalid

        Next- Your entire analogy is false on its face. Its a strawman fallacy shrouded in a circular argument.

        I really didn’t expect something this utterly insane coming from someone with your previously noted expertise in other areas.

        Like I said, sober up and I’ll explain it further to you and take you to the sub atomic level if need be.

If PDJT was in office, the media would say the imagas are ‘disappointing’.

Get ready for a fight for who gets NASA when our Union of 50 states breaks up. And it’s coming.