NASA announced Monday that the James Webb Space Telescope captured the blinding infrared light from Mars earlier this month.
The images show the eastern hemisphere of Mars in different wavelengths of infrared light. NASA said that the new images will help advance scientific study of the red planet.
“Webb can capture images and spectra with the spectral resolution needed to study short-term phenomena like dust storms, weather patterns, seasonal changes, and, in a single observation, processes that occur at different times (daytime, sunset, and nighttime) of a Martian day,” the agency said in a blog post.
In fact, the telescope was so sensitive that astronomers had to make adjustments to prevent the blinding light from saturating the telescope’s detectors.
Some of the images show the rings of the Huygens Crater, the dark volcanic rock of Syrtis Major and brightening in the Hellas Basin.
“The Hellas Basin is a lower altitude, and thus experiences higher air pressure. That higher pressure leads to a suppression of the thermal emission at this particular wavelength range [4.1-4.4 microns] due to an effect called pressure broadening,” Geronimo Villanueva, the principal investigator of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said. “It will be very interesting to tease apart these competing effects in these data.”
The researchers are preparing a paper they will submit to a scientific journal for peer review and publication.
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Western researchers among first to capture James Webb Space Telescope images
London, Canada (SPX) Sep 13, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) has captured the most detailed and sharpest images ever taken of the inner region of the Orion Nebula, a stellar nursery situated in the constellation Orion 1,350 light-years away from Earth.
The new images released today were targeted by an international collaboration, which includes researchers from Western University.
“We are blown away by the breathtaking images of the Orion Nebula. We started this project in 2017, so we have been waiting more than five y … read more