Neptune’s rarely seen rings shine in new images | USA TODAY

Images of Neptune were taken with the James Webb Space Telescope's near-infrared camera, and are the sharpest we've seen since Voyager-2 encountered the planet in 1989.

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The James Webb Space Telescope has given us some of the sharpest images of the planets in our solar system, and the recent images released show incredible images of Neptune and its rings for the first time since 1989.

Not only were the rings captured, but so was the planet's dust bands.

“It has been three decades since we last saw these faint, dusty rings, and this is the first time we’ve seen them in the infrared," Heidi Hammel, Webb interdisciplinary scientist for solar system observations and vice president for science at the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, said in a statement.

The latest image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows Neptune and its several bright, narrow rings encircling it and some fainter dust bands. NASA’s Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe Neptune and some of its rings during its flyby in 1989.
The images, released by NASA Wednesday, were taken using the telescope's near-infrared camera which has three infrared filters "that showcase details" of planets that can't be seen by the human eye. Therefore, Neptune doesn't appear blue in the photos.

However, the camera's "stable and precise" image quality allowed the telescope to capture the rings surrounding the planet.

Neptune sits at the end of our solar system, as the ice giant is about 30 times farther from the sun than Earth, NASA says, and is the only planet not viewable to the naked eye. It takes about 165 years for the planet to orbit the sun, and its so far away from the sun that high noon on the planet is like dim twilight on Earth.

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