It’s Neptune prefer it hasn’t been seen earlier than. 

The Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration launched a picture of the planet Wednesday that it mentioned is the clearest view of Neptune’s rings in 30 years, and put the planet in a brand new mild.  


Heidi Hammel,

a scientist working for the James Webb Area Telescope, which captured the rings, mentioned she cried when she noticed the picture. “I used to be yelling, making my children, my mother, even my cats look,” she wrote on Twitter.

Neptune and one in every of its moons, Triton, high left, captured by the Webb telescope.


Area Telescope Science Institute/NASA/ESA/Zuma Press

The Webb telescope, launched late last year, is 100 instances as highly effective as NASA’s Hubble Area Telescope, which has orbited Earth for greater than 30 years. 

Webb’s new picture exhibits a luminescent Neptune with vivid, dusty rings round it. The deep-space telescope additionally captured seven of Neptune’s 14 identified moons, with the brightest-looking one being Triton. That moon is roofed in a frozen sheen of condensed nitrogen reflecting a lot of the daylight that hits it, NASA mentioned. 

NASA didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Neptune, first discovered in 1846, is almost 4 instances wider than Earth and 30 instances farther from the solar than our planet. 

The Webb telescope, developed collectively by NASA, the European Area Company and the Canadian Area Company, orbits the solar about 1 million miles from Earth. 

In contrast to Hubble, which detects principally seen mild, Webb detects mostly infrared light. That permits it to seize images of older and more distant galaxies, giving astronomers a peek into how the universe took form simply after the large bang virtually 14 billion years in the past. 

In July, NASA released Webb photos that it mentioned had been the deepest of the universe ever taken. President


unveiled the photographs on the White Home on the time: “At this time is a historic day,” Mr.


mentioned, including that the telescope’s first images “present what we are able to obtain, and what extra we are able to uncover.”

Webb’s infrared cameras didn’t present Neptune in its blue hue, like Hubble did. As a substitute, Webb’s photos picked up vivid spots on the planet that NASA mentioned are methane-ice clouds. 

Associated Video: NASA’s DART spacecraft will deliberately collide with an asteroid on Monday, in an try to change the area rock’s trajectory. The mission goals to check know-how that would defend Earth towards potential asteroid threats. Photograph illustration: NASA and Laura Kammermann

Write to Joseph Pisani at [email protected]

Corrections & Amplifications
NASA launched a picture of Neptune Wednesday that it mentioned is the clearest view of the planet’s rings in 30 years. An earlier model of this text incorrectly mentioned the picture was launched Tuesday. (Corrected on Sept. 22)

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