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HomeDigit NewsJames Webb Space Telescope captures clearest image of Neptune's rings

James Webb Space Telescope captures clearest image of Neptune’s rings

The James Webb Orbital Observatory has obtained record clear images of the gas and dust rings surrounding Neptune, the gas giant farthest from the Sun, as well as photographs of half of its satellites. These images will help scientists unravel the history of the formation of Neptune’s rings and moons.

The first images of Neptune’s rings, taken by James Webb, are striking in their clarity. Many of them have not been seen in photographs since the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in 1989. These images allow us to look at Neptune and its rings and moons in a whole new light.”, the European Space Agency said in a statement.

Large rings of dust and gas surround not only Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system, but also many other gas giants, including Neptune. Due to the lack of orbital missions in the vicinity of this giant planet, as well as the great distance to it, these gas and dust accumulations are almost not studied by scientists.

James Webb Space Telescope captures clearest image of Neptune's rings

Astronomers filled this gap with the help of the American space telescope “James Webb”, which began scientific work in orbit in the middle of summer this year. Scientists used NASA’s NIRCam ultra-sensitive infrared camera to capture ultra-detailed and clear images of Neptune and its environs.

In these images, in addition to the gas and dust rings of the solar system’s most distant gas giant, one can also see bright methane clouds hovering in the planet’s upper atmosphere, as well as traces of storms and atmospheric currents. In addition, Neptune images show giant polar hurricanes covering the planet’s south and north poles.

In addition, “James Webb” managed to capture seven of the 14 moons of Neptune at once, including its largest satellite Triton. The origin of this small celestial body has long been controversial among planetary scientists, since its unusual orbit potentially indicates that Triton did not originate in the vicinity of Neptune, but was ejected towards it from the far reaches of the solar system. As scientists hope, further study of Neptune with the help of “James Webb” will provide an answer to this question.

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