A Stunning View Of Neptune 

From James Webb Telescope

It is the first time in over 30 years that NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured a clear view of Neptune's rings.

The new image from Webb displays the planet's rings in a crisp, clear view - some of which haven't been seen since NASA's Voyager 2 swooped by the planet in 1989. In addition to several bright, narrow rings, the Webb image clearly shows Neptune’s fainter dust bands.

Heidi Hammel, a Webb scientist and expert on the Neptune system, says,  "It has been three decades since we last saw these faint, dusty rings, and this is the first time we’ve seen them in the infrared".

NASA says that Webb's highly stable and precise image quality allows it to detect such faint rings so close to Neptune.

Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades

Webb also captured seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons: Galatea, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Proteus, Larissa, and Triton.

Neptune’s large and unusual moon, Triton, dominates this Webb portrait of Neptune as a very bright point of light sporting the signature diffraction spikes seen in many of Webb’s images.

Researchers have been fascinated by Neptune since its discovery in 1846. The planet orbits 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth and orbits in a dark, remote region of the solar system. Due to its chemical composition, this planet is classified as an ice giant.

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