Rings clearly visible: "James Webb" picture shows Neptune in a new light

The James Webb space telescope provides deep insights into the endless expanse of space.

Rings clearly visible: "James Webb" picture shows Neptune in a new light

The James Webb space telescope provides deep insights into the endless expanse of space. The latest image now depicts Neptune with unusual accuracy. From this, researchers can draw conclusions about the light and wind conditions.

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a spectacular new image of the planet Neptune. The rings of the ice giant can be seen in the picture with exceptional clarity, as the European space agency Esa announced. The dust bands around the planet are also clearly visible.

A thin bright line around the equator could be a sign of the atmospheric circulation driving Neptune's winds and storms. The North Pole is no longer visible to the telescope. However, the recordings indicated an unusual brightness in the region.

Most recently, the telescope had sent a new image of a circular galaxy to Earth. The US space agency said it was the so-called Cartwheel Galaxy, about 500 million light-years from Earth.

The galaxy is made up of two rings - a smaller inner one made of hot dust and a larger outer one containing stars, among other things. The image shows that the galaxy is in a "very volatile" state and will likely continue to change, NASA said.

"James Webb" was built jointly by the space agencies in Europe (ESA), the USA (NASA) and Canada (CSA) and was launched on December 25th on board an Ariane launch vehicle from the European spaceport Kourou in French Guiana - after there had previously been cost explosions and repeated postponements. The first images from the telescope were published in mid-July and provided the deepest and most detailed insights into space to date.

(This article was first published on Thursday, September 22, 2022.)

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