Ultra-rare image of Jupiter found in James Webb Telescope revealing 10,000-mile-wide storm 'that could engulf Earth' | The Sun

A STUNNING image of a massive storm on Jupiter has just been revealed by Nasa's James Webb Space Telescope.

Several images of Jupiter were snapped by the space telescope while it was being tested, per the JWST commissioning report. 

The photographs display in excellent detail Jupiter, its rings and three of its moons: Europa, Thebe, and Metis.

JWST took the images using its Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam).

Researchers also used two different filters to further highlight separate wavelengths of light. 

In one of the images, viewers can see Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot thanks to Europa's shadow.

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What is the Great Red Spot?

Great Red Spot refers to an enormous ongoing storm system on the planet Jupiter.

It appears reddish in color, is slightly oval in shape, and is approximately 10,159 miles wide, per Brittanica.

The area, which is one of the largest in the Solar System, could easily engulf Earth.

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The power of the Webb

It has been difficult to photograph things like the Great Red Spot in the past, but now thanks to JWST it's easier than ever before.

"Observing a bright planet and its satellites and rings was expected to be challenging, due to scattered light that may affect the science instrument employed, but also the fine guidance sensor must track guide stars near the bright planet," the commissioning report explains.

"These observations verified the expectation that guide star acquisition works successfully as long as Jupiter is at least 140" away from the FGS, consistent with pre-flight modeling."

This finding means that JWST may also be able to successfully track things like near-Earth objects and comets from a distance, Science Alert noted.

The key outcome, however, is that after six months of commissioning "JWST is fully capable of achieving the discoveries for which it was built," the authors said in the report.

"JWST was envisioned to 'enable fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems'."

"We now know with certainty that it will."

A new era

Nasa launched James Webb last year on December 25.

Webb currently orbits Earth-sun Lagrange Point 2 (L2), which is about 930,000 miles from Earth in the direction of Mars.

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There, the telescope scours the night sky for faint infrared light, which could be visible from the first generation of stars and galaxies.

JWST, which has been dubbed the "next Hubble", will help researchers get a better understanding of the early days of our universe – much like the legendary Hubble Space Telescope has.

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