New space telescope shows Jupiter’s auroras, tiny moons

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. as never before / æz ˈnɛv ər bɪˈfɔr / (idiom) – in a way that has never been done or possible before

    With new technology, we can now exchange information as never before.

  2. countless / ˈkaʊnt lɪs / (adj.) – too many to be counted

    I’ve visited this beach countless times, so I want to find a new tourist destination.

  3. particularly / pərˈtɪk yə lər li / (adv.) – more than how someone/something usually is

    She’s generally cheerful, but she looks particularly happy today. I think she got the promotion.

  4. successor / səkˈsɛs ər / (n.) – a person who gets a job, title, or position after someone else held it

    After four years of being the organization’s president, he finally handed the position over to his successor.

  5. behold / bɪˈhoʊld / (v.) – to see, look at, or observe someone or something

    The group hiked the mountain before dawn to behold the sunrise from the mountain’s peak.


Read the text below.

The world’s newest and biggest space telescope is showing Jupiter as never before, auroras and all.

Scientists released the shots of the solar system’s biggest planet August 22.

The James Webb Space Telescope took the photos in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights and swirling polar haze. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow Earth, stands out brightly alongside countless smaller storms.

One wide-field picture is particularly dramatic, showing the faint rings around the planet, as well as two tiny moons against a glittering background of galaxies.

“We’ve never seen Jupiter like this. It’s all quite incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater of the University of California, Berkeley, who helped lead the observations.

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” she added in a statement.

The infrared images were artificially colored in blue, white, green, yellow and orange, according to the U.S.-French research team, to make the features stand out.

NASA and the European Space Agency’s $10 billion successor to the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed away at the end of last year and has been observing the cosmos in the infrared since summer. Scientists hope to behold the dawn of the universe with Webb, peering all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies were forming 13.7 billion years ago.

The observatory is positioned 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Through the James Webb Space Telescope, we are discovering new galaxies and planets in ways as never before. In your opinion, how important is it to see nature or the universe in new ways? Discuss.
  • Aside from the physical features of planets, what else would you like scientists to discover in outer space (ex. life on other planets, livable planets)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The article mentioned that the images were artificially colored. How does this information affect how you feel about the images (ex. it doesn’t matter, it’s less amazing?) Discuss.
  • Sometimes, artists also create interpretations of how planets or other objects in outer space look based on photos from telescopes. What do you think of these interpretations (ex. creative, misleading)? Do you think it’s okay for authorities like NASA to use them? Why or why not? Discuss.