Uranus’ hidden rings and unusual features shine in new Webb image

Uranus’ hidden rings and unusual features shine in new Webb image

A new image of Uranus from the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a wealth of previously unseen features, including its unseen rings and a cloud of water ice dubbed “the mystery cloud” by NASA.

The sharp image shows Uranus in all its glory, presenting never-before-seen details such as bright spots, lighter shades, and hints of its elusive rings. Bright, linear features appear high in Uranus’ atmosphere, marking the first time scientists have been able to identify them visually.

Additionally, the image shows a complex, faint patch of clouds which stands out in an area orbiting between the planet’s two brightest rings. This region is drastically different in brightness from the rest of the rings, indicating that the mysterious cloud, first detected by Uranus satellites, is composed of something unusual.

NASA hopes that further study of the image will help provide insight into the composition and structure of the cloud, as well as its relationship to either Uranus’ rings or atmosphere.

The unusual features of Uranus revealed in the image further highlight the unique environment of the outer planets, offering ‘a glimpse of a distant, largely unknown world,’ according to a statement from NASA.