PIA00051: Neptune in False Color

Neptune in False Color


In this false color image of Neptune, objects that are deep in the atmosphere are blue, while those at higher altitudes are white. The image was taken by Voyager 2's wide-angle camera through an orange filter and two different methane filters. Light at methane wavelengths is mostly absorbed in the deeper atmosphere. The bright, white feature is a high altitude cloud just south of the Great Dark Spot. The hard, sharp inner boundary within the bright cloud is an artifact of computer processing on Earth. Other, smaller clouds associated with the Great Dark Spot are white or pink, and are also at high altitudes. Neptune's limb looks reddish because Voyager 2 is viewing it tangentially, and the sunlight is scattered back to space before it can be absorbed by the methane. A long, narrow band of high altitude clouds near the top of the image is located at 25 degrees north latitude, and faint hazes mark the equator and polar regions.

Background Info:

The Voyager Mission is conducted by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Neptune Earth, Sun
System Neptune Earth
Target Type Planet Earth, Sun
Mission Voyager
Instrument Host Voyager 2
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Color, Haze, Methane, Storm, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1996-01-29
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00051
Identifier PIA00051