Neptune and Rings Shine in Photos From New Space Telescope

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Neptune and its rings haven’t regarded this good in a long time.

NASA launched new glamour pictures of our photo voltaic system’s outermost planet Wednesday taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. The footage taken in July present not solely Neptune’s skinny rings, however its faint mud bands, by no means earlier than noticed within the infrared, in addition to seven of its 14 identified moons.

Webb confirmed Jupiter at its finest in a collection of contemporary photographs launched final month.

Launched lower than a yr in the past, the $10 billion Webb is spending most of its time peering a lot deeper into the universe. Astronomers hope to see again to virtually the start of time when the primary stars and galaxies have been forming.

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NASA’s Voyager 2 was the primary spacecraft to see Neptune in all its gaseous glory, throughout a 1989 flyby. No different spacecraft have visited the icy, blue planet. So it has been three a long time since astronomers final noticed these rings with such element and readability, mentioned the Space Science Institute’s Heidi Hammel, a planetary astronomer working with Webb.

Hammel tweeted that she wept when she noticed the rings, yelling and making “my kids, my mom, even my cats look.”

Webb is the world’s largest, strongest telescope, working 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth. It rocketed into area final December.

The observatory is in good well being, in keeping with NASA, aside from one merchandise.

NASA reported this week {that a} mechanism on one in all Webb’s devices confirmed indicators of elevated friction late final month in one in all 4 observing modes. Observations are on maintain on this one specific observing observe, as a assessment board decides on a path ahead.

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