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Solar System

Our solar system is made up of a single star, the Sun, and all the celestial bodies that orbit it, including the planets, their moons, dwarf planets like Pluto and Ceres, and smaller space objects like asteroids. From its vantage point one million miles above the Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope will have a front row seat for monitoring events in our cosmic backyard.

Webb's infrared vision will allow us to learn more than ever before about the climate and weather of other planets in our solar system. 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 in unprecedented detail.

Among its observations, Webb will look at the conditions of water on Mars and how they relate 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 spectroscopy instruments, Webb will be able to tell us more about smaller bodies like dwarf planets and asteroids.


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.