It’s Neptune as if it’s never been seen before.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released an image of the planet on Wednesday that it said was the clearest sighting of Neptune’s rings in 30 years, putting the planet in a new light.
Dr. Heidi Hamill, a scientist working for the James Webb Space Telescope, which captured the rings, said she cried when she saw the photo. “I was screaming, making my kids, my mom, and even my cat look,” she said wrote on Twitter.
web telescope, Launched late last year100 times more powerful than NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which has orbited Earth for more than 30 years.
Webb’s new image shows a luminous Neptune with bright and dusty rings around it. The deep space telescope has also picked up seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons, the brightest of which is Triton. This moon is covered in a frozen sheen of intense nitrogen that reflects much of the sunlight hitting it, NASA said.
NASA did not respond to a request for comment.
Neptune It was first discovered in 1846four times larger than Earth and 30 times farther from the Sun than our planet.
web telescopewhich was jointly developed by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, orbits the sun about a million miles from Earth.
Unlike Hubble, which detects mostly visible light, Webb discovers Mostly infrared light. She is allowed to take it Pictures of the oldest and farthest galaxiesto give astronomers a peek at how the universe formed after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.
In July, NASA Chest web photos Which she said was the deepest thing in the universe at all. President Biden unveiled the photos at the White House at the time: “Today is a historic day,” Mr. Biden said, adding that The first pictures of the telescope “Show us what we can achieve, and what we can discover more.”
Infrared webcams did not show Neptune in its blue color, as Hubble did. Instead, Web images captured bright spots on the planet that NASA said were icy clouds of methane.
Write to Joseph Pisani at [email protected]
Corrections and amplifications
NASA released an image of Neptune on Wednesday that it said was the clearest sighting of the planet’s rings in 30 years. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the photo was released on Tuesday. (corrected September 22nd)
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