Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Examining the Ice Giants with NASA's Webb Telescope


Examining the Ice Giants with NASA's Webb Telescope

Release date: February 26, 2020

Scientists will study the circulation patterns, chemistry and weather of Uranus and Neptune

Shortly after its launch in 2021, a team of scientists will train NASA's James Webb Space Telescope on the upper atmospheres of our solar system's mysterious ice giants, Uranus and Neptune. They plan to map the atmospheric temperature and chemical structure of both planets to study their circulation patterns, chemistry and weather. All the gases in the upper atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune have unique chemical fingerprints that Webb can detect. Crucially, Webb can distinguish one chemical from another. Scientists think that the weather and climate of the ice giants are going to be very different from the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn.

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