National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Jupiter and its Moon Ganymede seen in the Infrared


Jupiter and its Moon Ganymede seen in the Infrared

Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, and its moon Ganymede photographed by the Subaru Telescope. Jupiter is known for the giant red typhoon known as the “Great Red Spot,” but in this infrared image, the Great Red Spot appears bright white. The moon Ganymede appears in the upper right. It is moving relative to Jupiter so in this image it appears stretched into a ‘rainbow,’ because it moved during the time required to take the three separate color images.

This image was taken by IRCS (Infrared Camera and Spectrograph) mounted on the Subaru Telescope. Thanks to the adaptive optics (AO) which correct for turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, it succeeded in capturing the details of Jupiter with a level of precision equal to planetary probe missions or the Hubble Space Telescope.

Article written by: Ko Arimatsu (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)