NASA just published on its Twitter account a fresh and unprecedented image of Uranus that proves what its scientists have already warned: Saturn is not the only planet with rings. To the surprise of some unbelievers, this confirms that Uranus also has rings. But that’s not his only treasure.
NASA has Uranus in the crosshairs of its closest and longed-for scientific interests.
The James Webb Space Telescope’s near-infrared camera (NIRCam) took an image that reveals impressive views of the rings of Uranus which, in the transmitted image, is seen with a blue tint, as a result of the combination of two optical filters.
“Uranus is a prime target in the next decade of planetary science.so we can’t wait to see what else Webb will reveal about this distant planet,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) anticipated.
By NASA’s own definition, “Uranus is an ice giant of the solar system, with “dramatic rings and bright features in the planet’s atmosphere”.
Uranus, an ice giant
Uranus It is the seventh planet of our Solar System and orbits around the Sun, at an approximate distance of 2,900 million kilometers.
Everything on Uranus is “mega”: four times wider than Earththere the days really fly by, in just 17 hours. However, Uranus takes 84 years to make a complete orbit around its star, the Sun. In other words, one year there is equivalent to 84 on Earth.
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There is still much to investigate and say about Uranus, the first planet to be discovered with a telescope in 1781, when astronomer William Herschel spotted it, but at first mistook it for a star and then a comet.
Barely two years later, the observations of the astronomer Johann Elert Bode finished convincing the scientific community that “that star” was a planet in our own system and he proposed to baptize it Uranus, after the Greek god of the sky. Thanks to the firmament, his opinion prevailed over that of the stocking suckers who bet on the name “Georgium Sidus”, in honor of King George III.
A day on Uranus is equivalent to 17 of our hours and a year to 84 of Earth’s
The truth is that, given its distance from the heat of the sun, it is presumed that Uranus is an immense icy rubble. However, it is believed to have core and its mass is estimated to be a dense fluid and caliente of water, methane and ammonia increasingly frozen as they approach the planetary surface.
Uranus, a giant with rings of gas
Another interesting fact is that its atmosphere is “dynamic”, composed of molecular hydrogen and atomic helium, with a lower dose of methane.
And like infinity (Uranus is 2721.4 million kilometers from our hands) the mystery of “a new” planet always calls for poetry. For this reason, its 27 already identified moons -perhaps there are many more, of course- are already recognized by the character names of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Some of them evoke Ofelia, Desdemona, Juliet, Ariel, Miranda, Cressida, Caliban, etc.
Another surprising fact is that recognized 13 rings in Uranus: the interiors, narrower and darker while the exteriors, dazzle with bright colours.
Like Venus, Uranus goes against the current and rotates “upside down” than the Earth and the rest of the planets, from east to west and with an inclination of 90 degrees.
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Another great enigma to be unveiled is located on the right side of the planet, where the images taken allow us to see a bright area in the polar cap that faces the Sun. bright polo It only becomes visible in summer when Uranus comes into direct contact with sunlight, but it disappears in autumn. The Webb camera also revealed a surprising aspect of the polar cap: there is a subtle, more visible glow in the center of the polar cap.
It is currently late spring at Uranus’ north pole and summer will hit north of Uranus in 2028 – remember that one Uranus year is equal to 84 Earth years. When the Voyager 2 visited UranusIt was summer at the South Pole. The south pole is now in the “dark side” of the planetout of sight and looking into the darkness of space.
Due to its current conditions, Uranus would not have the possibility of harboring life as we know it on our planet. Until now, only the Voyager 2 probe is the only spacecraft that was able to fly over this unknown planet, but this space adventure is just beginning. No spacecraft so far orbited Uranus to have greater certainties and study our neighbor carefully and closely.
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