Neptune shown in dazzling new light by Nasa's Webb Space telescope

Neptune has been pictured in infrared for the first time by NASA's $10 billion telescope. Credit: AP

Spectacular shots taken on NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope show Neptune in a completely new light.

The pictures of the solar system's outermost planet, released today, show not only its thin rings, but also its faint dust bands, which had never been seen in infrared until now.

Images taken on the world's biggest and most powerful telescope in July also show seven of Neptune's 14 known moons, and details of the planet's turbulent and windy atmosphere.

Last month it showed Jupiter in more detail than ever before, including electric blue auroras and the planet's iconic Great Red Spot.

The first images from the $10 billion telescope, released in July, showed the deepest infrared image of the Universe to ever be taken - capturing light from 13.8 billion years ago.

The dazzling photos show seven of Neptune's 14 known moons, with Triton shining brightly in this image. Credit: AP

Astronomers hope to see back to almost the beginning of time when the first stars and galaxies were forming. NASA's Voyager 2 was the first spacecraft to see Neptune in all its gaseous glory, during a 1989 flyby.

No other spacecraft has visited the icy, blue planet, so it's been three decades since astronomers last saw its rings with such detail and clarity, said the Space Science Institute's Heidi Hammel, a planetary astronomer working with Webb.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

She tweeted that she wept and yelled when she saw the rings, making “my kids, my mom, even my cats look.”

The Webb operates one million miles from Earth, having rocketed into space last December and the observatory is in good health, according to NASA, except for one item.

The space agency reported this week that a mechanism on one of Webb's instruments showed signs of increased friction late last month in one of four observing modes.

Observations are on hold in this one particular observing track, as a review board decides on a path forward.