Daily Telescope: James Webb zooms in on Uranus

Enlarge / James Webb Space Telescope captures a wide view of Uranus.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

reader comments


Good morning. It's December 19, and as we get closer to the year-end holidays your humble space correspondent is starting to get a little stir-crazy. Hence the reason for today's abdominal, I mean abominable, headline.

This amazingly cool image of Uranus comes from the Near-Infrared Camera on the James Webb Space Telescope. This wide-field image shows Uranus with an assortment of background galaxies and 14 of its 27 moons, including Oberon and Titania. We can also see the north polar cap gleaming a bright white, as well as the planet's rather faint (in visible light) inner and outer rings.

I've also included the close-up image of Uranus, which is really quite stunning with all of its various rings.
A close-up view of Uranus.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

You probably already know that this ice giant of a planet is the seventh one in our Solar System from the Sun. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more of this gleaming giant in our lifetimes, with astronomers recently placing a Uranus orbiter as the highest priority science exploration mission for NASA to tackle next.


Do you want to submit a photo for the Daily Telescope? Reach out and say hello.