Ringed Ice Giant Neptune
ice giant Neptune
lies near the center of this sharp
near-infrared image from the
James Webb Space Telescope.
The dim and distant world is the
from the Sun,
about 30 times farther away than planet Earth.
But in the stunning Webb view the planet's dark and ghostly appearance
is due to atmospheric methane that absorbs infrared light.
High altitude clouds that reach above most of Neptune's absorbing methane
easily stand out in the image though.
Coated with frozen nitrogen, Neptune's largest moon Triton is
brighter than Neptune in reflected sunlight and is seen at upper left
sporting the Webb's characteristic
Including Triton, seven of Neptune's 14 known moons can be
in the field of view.
Neptune's faint rings
are striking in this new space-based planetary portrait.
Details of the complex ring system are seen here for the first
time since Neptune was visited by the
Voyager 2 spacecraft in August 1989
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.
Publications with keywords: Neptune - Neptune's moon
Publications with words: Neptune - Neptune's moon