For the first time, the James Webb International Space Telescope captured images and scientific data from Mars. The photos, taken on September 5, were released today NASA and ESA, the US and European space agencies (See above).
NASA explains that the images provide a “unique perspective” of the Red Planet, but differ greatly from other impressive images captured by the super telescope.
That’s because the planet is relatively close to Earth, making it one of the brightest objects in the night sky in terms of visible light (visible to humans) and infrared light (even detectable by the web). So focusing Webb’s instruments on Mars poses some challenges for astronomers.
“The web was created to detect faint light from distant galaxies, but Mars is so bright! So, special techniques were used to prevent the web from being flooded with light,” the company said.
According to NASA, the images captured by the Super Telescope show part of the eastern hemisphere of Mars.
In the photo on the left, you can see the rings of the 450 km diameter Huygens Crater, the volcanic rock of Syrtis Major, one of the darkest regions of Mars, and the glow of the Hellas Basin, one of the largest. craters in the impact of the entire solar system.
The image on the right shows a map of the planet’s thermal emissivity, which means that light emitted by Mars loses its heat (because the Red Planet’s atmosphere is so thin, heat from the Sun escapes Mars easily).
The images show the area of Mars captured in detail. – Photo: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Mars JWST/GTO team.
According to NASA, astronomers will analyze features of Mars through the web to gather more information about its surface and atmosphere.
In the future, scientists will use these images and data to examine regional differences across the planet and look for gases in the atmosphere, including methane and hydrogen chloride.
See the first photos released by the James Webb Super Telescope.
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