Catalog - Technical Sciences - James Webb has taken impressive, never-before-seen images of Neptune

Catalog – Technical Sciences – James Webb has taken impressive, never-before-seen images of Neptune

“It’s been three decades since we last saw these faint, dusty rings, and this is the first time we’ve seen them in infrared,” said Heidi Hamill, a Neptune expert and interdisciplinary scientist with the James Webb Project. .

Webb’s images show Neptune’s faint dust lanes as well as many sharp and narrow rings. Some rings have not been observed since NASA Voyager 2 in 1989 provided the first photographic evidence of the existence of Neptune’s rings.

Known for its supersonic winds, Neptune is the farthest planet in our solar system. The planet and its neighbor, Uranus, are called “ice giants” because their interior consists of elements heavier than the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, which are richer in hydrogen and helium. CNN.

Seven of its fourteen moons have been registered

In the new images, Neptune appears white, in contrast to the characteristic blue color of visible-light images. That’s because methane, part of the planet’s chemical makeup, doesn’t show up in the blue of the NIRCam webcam.

Space telescope images also show clouds of methane ice crystals, or bright streaks and spots, that reflect sunlight before the methane gas absorbs them. A thin, bright line could also be detected around the planet’s equator, which the statement said “may be a visual indicator of the global atmospheric circulation that feeds Neptune’s winds and storms.”

Webb captured seven of Neptune’s 14 known moons, including the largest, Triton, which orbits the planet in an unusually backward inverted orbit. According to astronomers, Triton may have been one of the objects in the Kuiper Belt – the region of icy bodies at the edge of the Solar System – that fell into Neptune’s gravity.

See also  Target the world champion Superbike MotoGP

The scientists plan to use Webb to continue studying Triton and Neptune in the coming years. Neptune is located 30 times farther from the sun than Earth and orbits the sun in a far dark region of the outer solar system. At this distance, the Sun is so small and faint that the appearance of Neptune resembles a twilight on Earth.

(Cover Photo: Space Telescope Science Institute / ESA / WEBB / AFP)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.