This animation shows the record two-hour observation of Jupiter, taken using a superior technique to remove atmospheric blur, which has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from the ground. The images were recorded in the infrared with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). They reveal changes in Jupiter's smog-like haze, probably in response to a planet-wide upheaval more than a year ago. Only one filter, centered around 2 microns, is used in this movie. A false color table has been used to highlight enhanced haze in this monochromatic image sequence. The sky quality was rapidly varying ("seeing") during the observations, leading to clearly visible fluctuations of the correction performance with time.
Oct. 02, 2008
ESO/F. Marchis, M. Wong, E. Marchetti, P. Amico, S. Tordo
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