James Webb took beautiful picture Neptune and its rings

in hive-109160 •  2 months ago  (edited)

(NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI https://go.nasa.gov/3S45RmU)

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) team shared the first images of Neptune, some of its satellites and the planet’s rings.

The observatory also captured distant galaxies and rare stars of the Milky Way, our own galaxy.

The ice giant Neptune is the farthest planet and one of the most poorly studied of the solar system.

Only the Voyager 2 probe visited it; all other observations of the eighth planet and his companions are carried out using large ground or near-earth telescopes.

Now the James Webb chose Neptune as its goal and it took images in the near infrared range using the NIRCAM camera.

Besides the planet itself, the new observatory captured:

  • Neptune’s thin dust rings
  • Distant galaxies,
  • a couple of stars of the Milky Way
  • 7 out of 14 satellites of Neptune

(NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI https://bit.ly/3BFkgyD)

The brightest of those satellites is Triton, the largest companion of Neptune, whose ice reflects light.

Triton is of great interest for planetologists because of its cryovulcanism.

Also, the satellite could initially be the object of the Kuiper belt, which was gravitationally captured by Neptune in the distant past.

In the images, Neptune doesn’t have the usual blue color, but it looks very dark.

This tonality is associated with a strong absorption of atmospheric radiation methane in the near infrared range.

An exception is only high -altitude clouds of methane ice, well reflecting light.

A hurricane is also noticeable near the giant south pole of the ice giant, which is surrounded by a strip of high -altitude clouds discovered for the first time.

Scientists also noticed a thin bright line near the equator of Neptune, which can be associated with global atmospheric circulation.


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