Hubble provides a unique ultraviolet view of Jupiter

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveals an ultraviolet view of Jupiter. Credit: NASA, ESA and M. Wong (University of California–Berkeley); Processing: Gladys Koper (NASA/Catholic University of America

This newly released image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows Jupiter in a color composite of ultraviolet wavelengths. Released to commemorate Jupiter reaching opposition, which occurs when the planet and the Sun are on opposite sides of the sky, this view of the gas giant planet includes the iconic, massive storm known as the „Great Red Spot.”

Although the storm appears red to the human eye, it appears dark in this ultraviolet image because high-altitude fog particles absorb light at these wavelengths. Reddish, wavy polar fog absorbs slightly less of this light due to differences in particle size, composition, or height.

The data used to create this ultraviolet image is part of the Hubble project to look at Jupiter’s stealthy superstorm system. Researchers plan to map deep water clouds using Hubble data to define 3D cloud structures in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Hubble has a long history of observing exoplanets. From comet Schumacher-Levy 9 impacts to studying Jupiter’s storms, Hubble’s decades-long career and unique vantage point provide astronomers with valuable data to chart the evolution of this dynamic planet.

Hubble’s ultraviolet-observing capabilities allow astronomers to study short, high-energy wavelengths of light beyond what the human eye can see. Ultraviolet light reveals fascinating cosmic phenomena, including light from hotter and younger stars embedded in local galaxies; composition, density and temperature of interstellar matter; and the evolution of galaxies.

This is a false color image because the human eye cannot detect UV light. Therefore, colors in the visible light spectrum were assigned to the images, each taken with a different UV filter. In this case, the colors assigned to each filter are: Blue: F225W, Green: F275W and Red: F343N.

Quotation: Hubble presents unique ultraviolet view of Jupiter (2023, November 3) Retrieved November 3, 2023, from

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