James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

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Ann
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Re: JWST Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades

Post by Ann » Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:57 pm

bystander wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:56 pm New Webb Image Captures Clearest
View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades

ESA Webb | ESA Space Science | 2022 Sep 21
Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is showing off its capabilities closer to home with its first image of Neptune. Not only has Webb captured the clearest view of this peculiar planet’s rings in more than 30 years, but its cameras are also revealing the ice giant in a whole new light.

Most striking about Webb’s new image is the crisp view of the planet’s dynamic rings — some of which haven’t been seen at all, let alone with this clarity, since the Voyager 2 flyby in 1989. In addition to several bright narrow rings, the Webb images clearly show Neptune’s fainter dust bands. Webb’s extremely stable and precise image quality also permits these very faint rings to be detected so close to Neptune.

Neptune has fascinated and perplexed researchers since its discovery in 1846. Located 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth, Neptune orbits in one of the dimmest areas of our Solar System. At that extreme distance, the Sun is so small and faint that high noon on Neptune is similar to a dim twilight on Earth.

This planet is characterised as an ice giant due to the chemical make-up of its interior. Compared to the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune is much richer in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This is readily apparent in Neptune’s signature blue appearance in NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images at visible wavelengths, caused by small amounts of gaseous methane. ...

ESA Webb wrote:

Triton, the bright spot of light in the upper left of this image, far outshines Neptune because the planet’s atmosphere is darkened by methane absorption wavelengths captured by Webb.

Of course!!!! Triton is brighter than Neptune in the infrared picture by Webb for exactly the same reason why Neptune looks bluish in visible light: It is because methane in Neptune's atmosphere absorbs and dims infrared light detected by the Webb telescope, at the same time making Neptune bluish at optical wavelengths detected by Hubble - because the planet has "lost" some red and infrared light!!

Insert :slapface: emoji!!!

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chris Peterson
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Re: JWST Captures Clearest View of Neptune’s Rings in Decades

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:16 pm

Ann wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:57 pm Of course!!!! Triton is brighter than Neptune in the infrared picture by Webb for exactly the same reason why it looks bluish in visible light: It is because methane in Neptune's atmosphere absorbs and dims infrared light detected by the Webb telescope, at the same time making Neptune bluish at optical wavelengths detected by Hubble - because the planet has "lost" some red and infrared light!!

Insert :slapface: emoji!!!
Reminds me of another face slapping thing that crops up when I'm teaching biology. I ask the kids what color light plants use for photosynthesis. "Duh... green of course. Chlorophyll is green!"

Bzzzz... wrong! They use red and blue light, and green least of all. They look green because they absorb the red and blue they need, leaving the useless green to reflect away.
Chris

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Fred the Cat
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Re: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:29 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:16 pm
Ann wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:57 pm Of course!!!! Triton is brighter than Neptune in the infrared picture by Webb for exactly the same reason why it looks bluish in visible light: It is because methane in Neptune's atmosphere absorbs and dims infrared light detected by the Webb telescope, at the same time making Neptune bluish at optical wavelengths detected by Hubble - because the planet has "lost" some red and infrared light!!

Insert :slapface: emoji!!!
Reminds me of another face slapping thing that crops up when I'm teaching biology. I ask the kids what color light plants use for photosynthesis. "Duh... green of course. Chlorophyll is green!"

Bzzzz... wrong! They use red and blue light, and green least of all. They look green because they absorb the red and blue they need, leaving the useless green to reflect away.
Depending on the chlorophyl type and the type of plant.

Of course, it's not always black and white. :wink:
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