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Jupiter Rising: If only our earthly cameras would evolve until they could bring UFOs into focus

Jupiter Rising by Alexis Birkill

Photograph of Jupiter’s enormous Great Red Spot in 1879 from Agnes Clerke’s Book “A History of Astronomy in the 19th Century”. Captured by Andrew Ainslie Common in Ealing, London on 3 September 1879 using a 36″ reflector, this was the first clear photograph of another planet.

Captured on July 27, the 2022 infrared images — artificially colored to make specific features stand out — show fine filigree along the edges of the colored bands and around the Great Red Spot and also provide an unprecedented view of the auroras over the north and south poles.

One wide-field image presents a unique lineup of the planet, its faint rings and two of Jupiter’s smaller satellites — Amalthea and Adrastea — against a background of galaxies.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley, who led the scientific observations of the planet with Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory. “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites and even galaxies in one image.”

Jupiter Color Composite: This false-color composite image of Jupiter was obtained with James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on July 27, 2022. Several exposures in three different filters were assembled to create this mosaic, after being corrected for the rotation of the planet. The combination of filters yields an image whose colors denote the height of the clouds and the intensity of auroral emissions. The F360M filter (mapped to the red-orange colors) is sensitive to light reflected from the lower clouds and upper hazes. The red features in the polar regions are auroral emissions, caused by ions excited through collisions with charged particles at altitudes up to 1000 km above the cloud level. Auroral emission in red is evident in the northern and southern polar regions and reaches high above the limb of the planet. In the F212N filter (mapped to yellow-green colors), the gaseous methane in Jupiter’s atmosphere absorbs light; the greenish areas around the polar regions come from stratospheric hazes 100-200 km above the cloud level. The stratospheric haze that appears green in this composite is also concentrated in the polar regions, but extends down to equatorial latitudes and can also be seen along the limbs (edges) of the planet. The cyan channel holds the F150W2 filter, which is primarily sensitive to reflected light from Jupiter’s deeper main cloud level at about one bar. The Great Red Spot, the hazy equatorial region and myriad small storm systems appear white (or reddish-white) in this false-color image. Regions with little cloud cover appear as dark ribbons north of the equatorial region. Some dark regions — for example, those next to the Great Red Spot and in cyclonic features in the southern hemisphere — are also dark-colored when observed in visible wavelengths.

Jupiter System: This false-color composite image of Jupiter was obtained with James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on July 27, 2022. A combination of short and long exposures in F212N (mapped to an orange color) and F335M (mapped to cyan) show Jupiter’s rings and some of its small satellites together with background galaxies. Amalthea (~250 x 150 km across) and tiny Adrastea (~20 km across) are visible in this image. The diffraction pattern created by the bright auroras, as well as the moon Io (just off to the left, not visible in the image), form a complex background of scattered light around Jupiter.

VIA Unexpected details leap out in sharp new James Webb Space Telescope images of Jupiter – AURA Astronomy

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Princess Cutekitten August 24, 2022, 10:24 AM

    This is the first time I’ve seen the picture from 1879, thanks!

  • PA Cat August 24, 2022, 10:38 AM

    Hard to believe that Gustav Holst composed Jupiter’s theme music (“Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity”) in 1917, over a century ago during WWI. Here is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s version:


    • Mike Austin August 24, 2022, 11:05 AM

      Superb. I have several versions of Holst’s “The Planets”, my favorite being that interpreted by Georg Solti. His version of “Mars, the Bringer of War” brings to mind the horrors of trench warfare in World War I. The version by Charles Dutoit is also good.

  • Walter Sobchak August 24, 2022, 11:48 AM

    “If only our earthly cameras would evolve until they could bring UFOs into focus”

    Higher priorities:

    Until they could bring our hearts into focus

    Until they could bring our place in God’s creation into focus.

    Until they could bring the face of God into focus.

    “The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through”
    Edna St.Vincient Millay

  • Walter Sobchak August 24, 2022, 11:54 AM

    @PA Cat @Mike Austin: thanks for that. My son and his bride used Jupiter as their march music at their wedding.

  • Kerry August 24, 2022, 4:17 PM

    The photo is magnificent. Thank you for posting it, because I would not have searched for it on my own.

  • Ray Van Dune August 24, 2022, 5:19 PM

    Holszt’s “Jupiter” is often misplayed in a “Battle Hymn” style similar to his “Mars”, whereas it was originally scored in a ??? “Honky-tonk” style, suggesting “jollity”. I like the misplayed style better!

  • Ray Van Dune August 24, 2022, 5:28 PM

    In the Chicago Symphony’s version linked above, the melody starting at about 3:00 is played in a slow and grandiose style, completely differing from the “jolly” style of the original.

  • Richard G. August 25, 2022, 10:45 PM

    Jupiter rising

    Treading midnight ground in the Darling down
    West of Queensland’s dividing range
    With only nature’s light to find our way
    Under the dark and star filled southern sky
    The moon glow dust lit two track road
    gleaming dimly in the blackened scrub

    The westering moon sets beyond the low horizon
    Stars swarm brightly across the darkened Astral orb
    Our faint shadows still lie before us
    Across the gloaming, gleaming track before us
    causing backward glances
    As to source

    Jupiter rising, ascending the throne
    Attended by his courtesans
    Io, Ganymede, and Europa,
    Callisto carrying the train
    As they
    Casting shadows
    Dimly light the way
    Through the chill night air

    • Vanderleun August 26, 2022, 7:34 AM

      Beautiful. Very very nice.