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James Webb Space Telescope captures the best image of Neptune's rings in decades


The James Webb Space Telescope's tour of the Solar System just shed light on the most distant planet in our cosmic neighborhood. Researchers have shared the observatory's first image of Neptune, and it offers the best view of the icy world's rings in over 30 years. The picture is not only clear, but offers the first-ever look at the dust-based rings in the near-infrared spectrum. At these wavelengths, the planet doesn't look blue — it absorbs so much infrared and visible red light that it takes on a dark, ghostly appearance.

The image also shows seven of Neptune's 14 confirmed moons, including Triton (the 'star' at top) as well as Galatea, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Proteus and Larissa. The bright spots and streaks on the planet represent methane-ice clouds, including a swirl surrounding a vortex at the south pole. Triton's attention-grabbing look is the product of ...


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