The JWST team released the first five scientific target images yesterday, and they are spectacular. The people want more, so it is unsurprising that even test images taken during the commissioning phase are now being shared.
Among them, there are some nice images of Jupiter taken by the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) – and while they might not be as eye-catching as the processed ones, they reveal already just how powerful the telescope is going to be.
The 75-second exposure images show Jupiter’s cloud bands, the Great Red Spot, the planet’s thin rings, and some of its moons. However, something that is truly outstanding is that the moon Europa is casting its shadow on Jupiter (just left of the Great Red Spot) and the telescope is sensitive enough to observe it.
The first full-color image of a solar system target is rumored to be coming out tomorrow, so we might see Jupiter again in even more glorious detail.