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Scientists Produce One Of The Clearest Ever Photographs Of Jupiter

Dominic Smithers

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Scientists Produce One Of The Clearest Ever Photographs Of Jupiter

Featured Image Credit: International Gemini Observatory

Scientists have created one of the clearest ever images of Jupiter.

Using a technique called 'lucky imaging', researchers compiled hundreds of photos taken by the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii, to produce the infrared snap. Infrared is a longer wavelength and is used to see beyond the clouds and haze of Jupiter's atmosphere.

The 'lucky imaging' process involves taking a huge number of photos of the planet at multiple exposures, but only keeping the sharpest ones.

By taking so many photos at differing exposures over one night (29 May 2019), it meant a small percentage of them were not affected by the blurring effect caused by the Earth's atmosphere.

The project was carried out with both visual and radio support from the Hubble telescope and the Juno space probe, which is currently orbiting Jupiter.

A statement released by the observatory said: "From a lucky imaging set of 38 exposures taken at each pointing, the research team selected the sharpest 10 percent, combining them to image one ninth of Jupiter's disk.

Scientists say it is one of the clearest ever images taken of the planet. Credit: International Gemini Observatory
Scientists say it is one of the clearest ever images taken of the planet. Credit: International Gemini Observatory

"Stacks of exposures at the nine pointings were then combined to make one clear, global view of the planet."

Scientists had previously thought the dark spots of Jupiter were colour variations, they now know that they are just gaps in cloud cover.

Michael Wong, of UC Berkeley, led the research team on the project and said: "These images rival the view from space.

"You see bright infrared light coming from cloud-free areas, but where there are clouds, it's really dark in the infrared."

Earlier this month, a photographer created an image of the moon that has never been seen before.

Using thousands of photographs taken over a couple of weeks, astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy built a composite picture, showing the incredible depth of the Moon's surface.

The California-based snapper posted the super-clear pic to his Instagram account. Titled 'All Terminator', Andrew described it as an 'impossible scene'.

A Californian photographer recently shared this photo of the Moon. Credit: SWNS
A Californian photographer recently shared this photo of the Moon. Credit: SWNS

He wrote: "This moon might look a little funny to you, and that's because it is an impossible scene.

"From two weeks of images of the waxing moon, I took the section of the picture that has the most contrast (right before the lunar terminator where shadows are the longest), aligned and blended them to show the rich texture across the entire surface.

"This was exhausting to say the least, namely because the moon doesn't line up day over day, so each image had to be mapped to a 3D sphere and adjusted to make sure each image aligned."

Topics: Science, Interesting, Technology

Dominic Smithers
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