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Solar System

Our solar system is made up of the Sun and the planets and minor bodies that orbit it. As a versatile, general-purpose observatory, Webb will have a ringside seat for monitoring events in our own cosmic backyard.

Webb's infrared vision will allow us to learn more than ever before about how the climate and weather of other planets in our solar system function. Webb will keep track of everything from the seasons on Saturn's moon Titan to emerging aurorae on giant planets like Uranus. Webb can be used to probe different depths in these atmospheres, mapping cloud structures and major storm systems with finer detail than previously possible.

Webb will look at the conditions of water on Mars and how that relates to the planet's potentially habitable past and present. It will map organic molecules on Uranus and Neptune, revealing information on the chemistry of those planets. And with its high resolution and light-analyzing technology, it will be able to tell us much about smaller bodies, such as asteroids, that populate the solar system.


Why Do Planets Have Rings?

All of our solar system's giant planets have rings, but not all rings are alike.

Webb and the Solar System

Webb will look at the composition, history, and weather of objects orbiting our Sun.