NASA’s James Webb Telescope recently set its sights towards Uranus, and captured a photo of the ringed planet. In the photo, we can see the inner and outer rings of the planet, as well as the Zeta ring. This is the faint and diffusive ring closest to the planet. The telescope also imaged some of the planet’s moons.
Sporting a total of 27 moons, Uranus is a world filled with features such as bright storms. In the photo, several bright storms can be seen near and below the southern border of the polar cap. The storms might be due to a combination of seasonal and meteorological effects.
The polar cap appears to be more visible when the planet’s pole begins to pint toward the sun. Uranus reaches its next solstice in 2028, and astronomers are looking forward to the event. Since the planet spins on its side at a tilt, it has the most extreme seasons in the solar system. For nearly a quarter of a year on Uranus, the sun shines over one pole. On the other side, a dark 21-year winter is happening.
Image Source: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI