They allow us deep insights into the universe in a new quality. New images from the James Webb Telescope provide stunning views of Neptune.
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.
The James Webb telescope was launched on December 25, 2021 aboard an Ariane launch vehicle. Previously, there had been explosions in costs and repeated shifts. The space agencies of the USA, Canada and Europe are cooperating on the project. Behind it are 30 years of development and costs of around ten billion dollars (around 8.8 billion euros). The Webb telescope follows the Hubble telescope, which has been in use for more than 30 years. While “Hubble” works in the optical and ultraviolet range, “James Webb” investigates in the near-infrared range.
The “James Webb” telescope provides new images from the early universe with the help of a 25 square meter mirror, among other things. Science hopes the recordings will provide insights into the time after the Big Bang around 13.8 billion years ago – and possibly even evidence of a second earth.