the telescope captured more detailed images of Neptune
printed on 09/21/2022 12:40 / up to date on 09/21/2022 12:43
(credit score: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)
NASA launched Wednesday morning (Sept. 21) the most detailed images of Neptune in more than 30 years. The recording was made by the James Webb Space Telescope. Details of Neptune’s rings haven’t been photographed since 1989, when Voyager 2 turned the first spacecraft to watch the planet.
“It’s been three a long time since we final noticed these faint, dusty rings, and that is the first time we have seen them in the infrared,” notes scientist Heidi Hamel. James Webb recorded seven of Neptune’s 14 identified moons: Galatea, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Proteus, Larissa, and Triton.
The planet was found in 1846 and has been thrilling researchers ever since. It is 30 instances farther from the Sun than Earth and orbits a darkish and distant area of the Solar System. Because of its chemical composition, Neptune has been described as an ice large.
The planet can also be wealthy in parts heavier than hydrogen and helium, which explains the bluish look of the celestial physique in James Webb’s visible-wavelength images.
“Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) produces objects in the close to infrared vary of 0.6 to five microns, so Neptune doesn’t seem blue to Webb. In truth, methane gasoline absorbs purple and infrared gentle so strongly that the planet is sort of darkish at these near-infrared wavelengths, besides the place there are high-altitude clouds,” NASA and the European Space Agency defined in a press release.
The moon Triton stands out in the images. It displays about 70% of the daylight that hits it and orbits Neptune in an uncommon retrograde orbit. Astronomers speculate that Tristan was not initially a Kuiper belt object that was gravitationally captured by Neptune. Therefore, the James Webb Telescope will carry out extra research of Triton and Neptune in the coming years.