Home Technology Earth neighbors can also observe, Webb telescope sent back its first image of Mars | TechNews Technology News

Earth neighbors can also observe, Webb telescope sent back its first image of Mars | TechNews Technology News

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Earth neighbors can also observe, Webb telescope sent back its first image of Mars | TechNews Technology News

In addition to being good at capturing extremely distant galaxies, the Webb Space Telescope can also observe celestial bodies in the solar system from another angle. Recently, it brought the first pictures of Earth’s neighbor Mars, providing scientists with new information on the composition of Mars’ surface and atmosphere.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) used the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) to photograph Mars for the first time on September 5, revealing the sun-drenched eastern hemisphere of Mars with two different wavelengths of light, including a 2,300-kilometer-wide, The impact basin “Greek Plain” with a depth of 7 kilometers, Huygens crater (Huygens) on the northeastern edge of the Greek Basin, and a black basalt flow to the east of Huygens crater, etc.

NIRSpec also measures the Martian infrared light spectrum — in other words, NIRSpec classifies Mars’ light into individual wavelengths that map to specific chemicals on the Martian surface and atmosphere, helping scientists find chemicals that may be present in only small amounts in the Martian atmosphere, such as methane and hydrogen chloride.

Methane is important because it can tell planetary scientists many geological processes on Mars, including whether a large object has recently hit Mars from space, biological activity that hints at the ancient history of Mars, and more.

But in fact, Mars is too bright for the Webb telescope, which is designed to detect the extremely faint light of distant galaxies. The excessively bright infrared light from Mars can “blind” the JWST instrument, so astronomers only use very short exposure times to observe, and Develop special methods to analyze the collected data.

The NASA team will share more of the Webb telescope’s observations of Mars in the new study, hoping to compare the old data to find differences in the surface area of ​​Mars, and to look for methane, hydrogen chloride and other gases in the atmosphere.

(Source of the first image: European Space Agency)

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