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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Uranus from Hubble WFC3 on December 25, 2011

Filed under Hubble Space Telescope, pretty pictures, atmospheres, amateur image processing, Uranus

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Uranus from Hubble WFC3 on December 25, 2011 Astronomers exercised a "Hubble Target of Opportunity" to image Uranus when ground-based photos revealed that bright storms had blossomed in its midlatitudes.

Processed image copyright Ted Stryk, raw data courtesy STScI / Heidi Hammel

The storms are more visible when viewed through longer-wavelength filters at 889 and 906 nanometers, where methane gas is strongly absorbing. Where there are clouds containing condensed methane droplets, they appear bright against the very dark planet.

Dark and bright spots on Uranus

STSCI / Heidi Hammel / Emily Lakdawalla

Dark and bright spots on Uranus
These images are composed of two views of Uranus taken through methane band filters at 889 and 906 nanometers. In the right-hand image, a yellow circle shows the location of a dark spot with a companion bright spot.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder. Original image data dated on or about December 25, 2011

 

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