Saturn’s rings are glowing in Webb Space Telescope’s latest cosmic shot

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Saturn has a fresh new look thanks to NASA’s Webb Space Telescope

ByMARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer

Space Telescope Saturn

This June 2023 image provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute shows the planet Saturn and three of its moons, from left, Enceladus, Tethys and Dione, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. In infrared, the planet appears dark because sunlight is absorbed by methane in the atmosphere. (NASA, ESA, CSA, JWST Saturn Team via AP)

The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Saturn has a fresh new look thanks to NASA’s Webb Space Telescope.

The gas giant is dark in the latest photo by Webb, released Friday, but its icy rings are glowing.

Webb snapped the picture in the infrared last weekend. At this wavelength, the planet appears dark because sunlight is absorbed by methane in the atmosphere. But the icy rings remain bright.

Three of Saturn’s many moons also got caught on camera.

Scientists are thrilled with this latest shot, which captures Saturn’s atmosphere in detail. They hope to uncover new ring structures as well as any new, faint moons that might be lurking there.

“We look forward to digging into the deep exposures to see what discoveries may await,” Matthew Tiscareno, a senior research scientist at the SETI Institute, said in a statement.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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