Saturn captured like never before by James Webb

The James Webb Space Telescope has just captured new images of Saturn using the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec),


James Webb



 which were published on the project's unofficial website. These are uncolored images that show the ringed planet in a very distinct black and white manner, almost like shadows on a white sheet.



Although the planet and its rings shine at infrared and near-infrared wavelengths, the wavelength range is different. As explained by NASA, "Saturn's rings reflect sunlight at two microns, but not at three and five microns... Saturn's high-altitude haze reflects sunlight at both two and three microns






The two filters used are in longer wavelength bands, allowing the rings to shine almost isolated against the blackness of space.

The observations were carried out by a team led by planetary scientist Leigh Fletcher of the University of Leicester (UK). They hope to use the NIRSpec data to gain a better understanding of Saturn's moons and rings



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