Neptune Looking Like a Pearl with a Halo

Looking at the planet Neptune from Earth, it appears blue with no rings. That's the image we've always had of Neptune. We know it has rings, but normally we can't see them. The last time they were detected was more than 30 years ago when Voyager 2 flew by the planet. But now we have the James Webb space telescope to get a better view, and it's, uh, heavenly. Why does Neptune suddenly look so different? Lunacy: A Comet Strip explains it to us.



The image was captured in near-infrared. Most of what we see here isn't the planet itself, because its methane absorbs red and infrared light. But the high clouds above the planet glow pearly white! This also gives a "weather report" of sorts that tells us about the planet's movements and composition. The telescope also captured seven of Neptune's 14 moons, which you can see at the telescope's website, with or without captions. -via Geeks Are Sexy

(Top image credit: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope at Flickr)


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