New images of Jupiter captured by astronomers using 'lucky technique'

WION Web Team
Hawaii, United States Published: May 09, 2020, 02:25 PM(IST)

Jupiter's latest image captured by Gemini North telescope (Image courtesy: International Gemini Observatory) Photograph:( Others )

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The remarkable images trace the glowing regions of warmth that lurk beneath the gas giant's cloud tops and reveal lightning strikes and storm systems forming around deep clouds of water ice and liquid.

Astronomers have captured the highest resolution images of Jupiter ever obtained from the ground using a technique known as “lucky imaging technique.''

The remarkable images trace the glowing regions of warmth that lurk beneath the gas giant's cloud tops and reveal lightning strikes and storm systems forming around deep clouds of water ice and liquid.

They have been captured in infrared by the Gemini North Telescope on Hawaii’s dormant volcano Mauna Kea.

Infrared is a longer wavelength than the more familiar visible light detected by the likes of the Hubble telescope.

Jupiter
Jupiter as seen in visible wavelengths of light by Hubble (Image courtesy: NASA)

It is used to see past the haze and thin clouds at the top of Jupiter's atmosphere, to give scientists the opportunity to probe deeper into the planet's internal workings.

The study was led from the University of California at Berkeley. It was part of a joint programme of observations that involved Hubble and the Juno spacecraft that's currently orbiting the fifth planet from the Sun.

According to Michael Wong who led the research team, ''The Gemini data were critical because they allowed us to probe deeply into Jupiter’s clouds on a regular schedule.''

''We used a very powerful technique called lucky imaging which scrubs out the blurring effect of looking through Earth's turbulent atmosphere,'' he added.

The technique involves obtaining a large number of very short exposure images and then only using the sharpest ones, when the Earth’s atmosphere is briefly stable, and discarding the rest.

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