Friday, October 22, 2010

Astrophoto Friday - Uranus with Adaptive Optics

Once again it is Astrophoto Friday. Last week's choice was Neptune as seen by the Hale Telescope with adaptive optics. This week we move inward to bring you the planet Uranus.

This image of Uranus was taken on 11 August 2006 with the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch (5-meter) Hale Telescope and its Adaptive Optics system. The Adaptive Optics system removes the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere to produce very high resolution images.

Don Banfield of Cornell University collected and processed the data to produce this false color image. The image was recorded in three near-infrared wavelengths: "J" centered at 1.250 microns, "H" at 1.635 microns, and "Ks" at 2.150. The images were combined as red, green, and blue to create this false-color image. Several cloud features can be seen at Uranus' atmosphere. The planet's rings (seen nearly edge-on) show up as the red area off of the planet's disk.

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