Neptune through the ‘James Webb’: the sharpest image of its rings in 30 years | Science

The sharpest image on the planet Neptune in 30 years. This is how he cataloged the European Space Agency the new snapshots sent by the space telescope james webb of the frozen giant. The largest astronomical observatory ever launched into space has managed to capture in a stable way the weakest dust lanes that surround the planet, which had not been seen with this clarity until now.

The eighth planet of the solar system, to the naked eye with a characteristic blue hue due to its composition rich in hydrogen and helium, this time it looks quite dark because of the wavelengths detected by the telescope’s infrared camera (NIRCam) webb. High-altitude cloud clusters stand out for the first time in the satellite images, which are bright because they reflect sunlight before it is absorbed by the planet’s methane gas.

The planetary system of Neptune captured by the ‘Webb’, where the bright center is the moon Triton, which thanks to its frozen crust of condensed nitrogen reflects sunlight.Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach (NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

Among the additional material that the probe has sent, the Triton satellite stands out, one of the 14 known moons of Neptune so far, and which is the brightest point in the entire catalog because it reflects 70% of the sunlight that reaches it thanks to its frozen nitrogen composition.

Neptune was discovered in 1846 by the German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, and is located in one of the darkest areas of the solar system, where it was photographed by the probe Voyager 2 in 1989.

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