Ringed Planet Uranus from Webb Telescope

Ringed Planet Uranus pictured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), showing the planet’s seasonal north polar cap and faint inner and outer rings.

The Webb Telescope recently focused on Uranus, the intriguing ice giant tilted on its side. The image also reveals nine of Uranus’s 27 moons: Rosalind, Puck, Belinda, Desdemona, Cressida, Bianca, Portia, Juliet, and Perdita, arranged clockwise starting at 2 o’clock.

Webb’s sensitivity captured Uranus’s dim inner and outer rings, including the elusive Zeta ring closest to the planet, including several of the planet’s moons within the rings.

Ringed Planet Uranus from Webb Telescope

While Voyager 2 showed Uranus as a serene blue ball in visible wavelengths, Webb’s infrared view reveals a dynamic ice world with fascinating atmospheric details. The image highlights the seasonal north polar cloud cap, showing improvements in visibility compared to an earlier Webb image.

Webb’s new observations will help unravel the complexities of Uranus’s atmosphere by distinguishing between seasonal and meteorological effects.

Images credit NASA / ESA / CSA