NASA publishes new images of the planet Uranus and its rings captured by the James Webb telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope keeps doing its best, collecting images of the solar system and beyond to give humans a glimpse of the many unknowns.

The telescope has uncovered many images since its launch in December 2021 and, with all accounts, is mind-blowing. With every discovery, scientists continue to credit the telescope and how its images have changed the evolutionary landscape of science.

The latest images are of the solar system’s ice giant, the planet Uranus. The new image features the planet’s dramatic rings as well as bright features in the planet’s atmosphere, according to NASA.

Uranus has 13 known rings, and 11 of them are visible in this Webb image. Some of these rings are so bright with Webb that they appear to merge into a larger ring when they are close together.

A portion of the press release reads:

“The new images demonstrate the observatory’s unprecedented sensitivity for the faintest dusty rings, which have only ever been imaged by two other facilities, which included the Voyager 2 spacecraft as it flew past the planet in 1986, and the Keck Observatory with advanced adaptive optics”.

Webb also captured many of Uranus’ 27 known moons.

When Voyager 2 looked at Uranus, its camera showed an almost featureless blue-green ball in visible wavelengths, NASA said. With Webb’s infrared wavelengths and extra sensitivity, scientists now see Uranus in more detail, showing how dynamic the atmosphere really is.

Here are a few fun facts about the planet Uranus which is characterized as an ice giant due to its chemical makeup. NASA describes the planet’s interior as a huge mass that is thought to be a hot, dense fluid of “icy” materials of water, methane, and ammonia above a small rocky core.

Uranus is the seventh planet in (our) solar system from the sun. Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the sun. It rotates on its side at roughly a 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit, which causes extreme seasons. The long seasons occur since the planet’s poles experience many years of constant sunlight followed by an equal number of years of complete darkness.

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Acerca de Andrey Robles

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