The James Webb Space Telescope managed to capture the most detailed image yet of Uranus’ rings. The seventh planet in the solar system has 13 known rings, and 11 of them are visible in the image.

The observatory of NASA, ESA and Canadian Space Agency pointed its near-infrared camera at Uranus in February 6, 2023. Combining two 1.4 and 3.0 micron filters (depicted in blue and orange in the imagen), the NIRCam not only revealed the frost giant’s fainter dust rings, but also details of its atmosphere that were not appreciated when Voyager 2 ship visited Uranus in 1986:

Visible light image of Uranus taken with the Voyager 2 spacecraft on January 14, 1986.

Visible light image of Uranus taken with the Voyager 2 spacecraft on January 14, 1986
Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech

the sensitivity from NIRCam and the longest wavelengths it can observe permission to capture also characteristics never seen from your ice cap, as a zone of different brightness in the central part and the bright clouds that border it. This is the image dand Uranus who took the youtelescope andHubble space in 2022:

Image of Uranus taken with the Hubble Space Telescope on November 10, 2022

Image of Uranus taken with the Hubble Space Telescope on November 10, 2022
Image: NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon (NASA-GSFC), MH Wong (UC Berkeley), J. DePasquale (STScI)

Uranus has a strange tilt almost 90 degrees in relation to your orbital plane. FORtime is almost summer in your North hemisphere, from him north pole (visible in the images from Webb and hubble) lies oriented towards the Sun.

Uranus is the larger of the two ice giants, although it has a mass slightly less than that of Neptune. It is believed to be composed primarily of a dense fluid mixture. of water, methane and ammonia, with a small rocky centre. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium, but it is less stormy than Jupiter and Saturn, and also contains methane, which gives it its blue color.

Its rings, discovered in 1977 by the team of James L. Elliott, are mainly composed of ice and rock particles, which can measure from about microns to several meters in diameter. Unlike Saturn’s rings, which are bright and reflect a lot of light, the from Uranus has low reflectivity because they include large amounts of dark material such as organic compounds processed by radiation.

Uranus also has 27 moons. The Big Five (Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titanihi Oberon) they were captured in the Webb image next to one of the mondays inner and smaller (Puck):

Six of Uranus' 27 moons captured by the Webb Space Telescope on February 6, 2023

Six of the 27 moons of Uranus captured by the Webb Space Telescope on February 6, 2023
Photograph: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, J. DePasquale (STScI)

Uranus is not the first planet in the solar system to be observed by the Webb Space Telescope. the observatory Captured in July 2022 Sharpest photo of Neptune since 1989. In the same month he captured Never-before-seen images of Jupiter’s atmospherewhere you also see its weak ring system.