Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Rings of Uranus

Environmental & Science Education,  STEM, Astronomy, Solar System, Earth & Space Science

Ed Hessler

An image of Uranus as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) show the rings "in exquisite details, along with clouds and a polar cap." 

The reason the rings have eluded crisp images like this is because "the dark rocks and dust that form them reflect little of the sun's light." JWST's "infrared sensors...captured Uranus in two separate wavelengths, are sensitive enough to pick them up."  The image shows 11 rings "in this image -- another two known rings further out were too faint to show up."

Alex Wilkins reports the story for New Scientist, April 6, 2023. If you are a first timer to this site you must sign up -- free -- but worth it for for this and future stories.

Wilkins's single word, Breathtaking, is perfect.

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