PIA01284: Neptune in Primary Colors


Neptune in Primary Colors

Caption:

These two NASA Hubble Space Telescope images provide views of weather on opposite hemispheres of Neptune. Taken Aug. 13, 1996, with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, these composite images blend information from different wavelengths to bring out features of Neptune's blustery weather. The predominant blue color of the planet is a result of the absorption of red and infrared light by Neptune's methane atmosphere. Clouds elevated above most of the methane absorption appear white, while the very highest clouds tend to be yellow-red as seen in the bright feature at the top of the right-hand image. Neptune's powerful equatorial jet—where winds blow at nearly 900 mph—is centered on the dark blue belt just south of Neptune's equator. Farther south, the green belt indicates a region where the atmosphere absorbs blue light.

The images are part of a series of images made by Hubble during nine orbits spanning one 16.11-hour rotation of Neptune. The team making the observation was directed by Lawrence Sromovsky of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center.

Background Info:

The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/ .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Neptune
System Neptune
Target Type Planet
Mission Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
Instrument Host Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
Host Type Orbiting Telescope
Instrument Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2)
Detector
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Color, Infrared, Methane, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1998-08-02
Date in Caption 1996-08-13
Image Credit NASA/JPL/STScI
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01284
Identifier PIA01284