Uranus has never been so beautiful
Uranus has never been so beautiful
© NASA, ESA, CSA / J. DePasquale (STScI)

Uranus has never been so beautiful

Every weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On April 6, Nasa published a wonderful infrared picture of the planet Uranus, taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

At 2.3 billion kilometers from the Sun

The image, unveiled on April 6 by Nasa, actually dates from last February 6 s.

It is a terrific shot of the planet Uranus, taken in the infrared by James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of Nasafrom the Lagrange Point L2 of the Earth-Sun system, at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from our planet.

The giant with a gaseous and dynamic atmosphere, a little less than 2.3 billion kilometers away from the Sun, appears surrounded by 11 of its 13 icy rings, and 6 of its 27 natural satellites known to date.

The seventh planet of the solar system shines, due to the icy elements of its atmosphere, where water, ammonia and methane are mixed.


Scientists stunned

Geographer Gilles Dawidowicz, vice president of the Société Astronomique de France, comments on this never-before-seen view of the " Webb " which last year also presented us with the planet Neptune in a new light, and then unveiled Titan, Jupiter's largest moon :

" Once again, the James Webb Telescope dazzles the world with its exceptional infrared observing capabilities. The results are so remarkable, that scientists were even amazed to observe two of the planet's innermost rings, previously imaged only by the Voyager 2 interplanetary probe and the adaptive optics of the Keck Observatory on the island of Hawaii.

" It is currently springtime at the north pole of Uranus, clearly visible on the right side of the shot : note the large bright area on the blue disk. At its edges, two white spots betray two very bright clouds, typical of the planet and well highlighted in the infrared : they are huge storms. "

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