Naomi Rowe-Gurney, a postdoctoral research scientist and solar system ambassador for the Webb space telescope at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told CNN : “The ring system of a planet tells us a lot about its origins and formation.
“Uranus is such a strange world with its sideways tilt and lack of internal heat that any clues we can get about its history are very valuable.”
Rowe-Gurney also told the news outlet that she hopes the telescope can also tell us more about Uranus’ unique atmospheric composition to help scientists understand it.
The space observatory’s powerful Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), can detect infrared light, which has not previously been visible to astronomers.
“The JWST gives us the ability to look at both Uranus and Neptune in a completely new way because we have never had a telescope of this size that looks in the infrared,” Rowe-Gurney said.
“The infrared can show us new depths and features that are difficult to see from the ground with the atmosphere in the way and invisible to telescopes that look in visible light like Hubble.”
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