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James Webb takes the first photograph of Uranus with its rings and 27 moons

Written by Amira Shehata

Friday, 07 April 2023 09:00 PM

Share a telescope James Webb NASA’s JWST spacecraft first looked at the planet Uranus, revealing invisible glowing rings around the ice giant and its twenty-seven moons, and the $10 billion telescope captured 11 out of the planet’s 13 rings in the new image, which looks bright. So much so that they seem to blend into one luminous ring.

According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, astronomers were surprised by the strength of JWST, as it picked up the two weakest dusty rings that were not discovered until 1986 in the flight by Voyager 2.

The main rings are composed of boulders several feet across, while the other rings are mainly composed of icicles obscured by rock.

The rings are thin, narrow and dark compared to those found in other planets such as Saturn.

Webb also captured many of the 27 known moons of Uranus, most of which are too small and faint to see here, but six were identified as bright in the display image, and Uranus had a striking blue shade caused by a thick layer of haze in its atmosphere.

The Oxford University-led researchers named this layer Aerosol-2, which they said would appear white at visible wavelengths.

The JWST image is made possible by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which captures light from the visible edge through the near infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

There is also a bright cloud at the edge of the polar cap and a second cloud in the southern region, typical of Uranus in the infrared wavelengths, and likely associated with storm activity.

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