This image of Uranus taken by the NIRCam camera shows the planet in the middle of a group of distant galaxies.
In addition, thanks to its high sensitivity, NIRCam was able to observe the elusive Zeta ring – the closest extremely faint and diffuse ring of the planet, indicates NASA in a press release.
NIRCam is a camera that works in the near infrared, the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that comes just after the visible. This camera is in a way the main imaging system of the James Webb telescope.
Uranus is the first planet to be discovered using a telescope: that of the British astronomer of German origin William Herschel in 1781. It is also the first planet in the solar system not having been identified since Antiquity.
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The Voyager 2 probe is the only spacecraft to have approached Uranus. In 1986, the probe observed the planet from a distance of about 80,000 km, before continuing its journey to neighboring ice giant Neptune.
During its brief passage, the probe studied the atmosphere of Uranus, its magnetic field and its rings, and discovered around ten of its moons.
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The planet Uranus in the lens of Voyager 2
From this flyby, Uranus presented the image of a quiet blue ice giant. This is not the case since infrared images from the James Webb telescope reveal violent storms in its atmosphere.