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Infrared Images of Jupiter & Io

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Infrared Images of Jupiter & Io

These images compare the appearance of Jupiter at 1.64 Ám (a wavelength where you can see reflected sunlight from the clouds) and at 2.26 Ám (a wavelength where the planet appears dark due to absorption of sunlight by methane molecules). The images are shown scaled to their true relative brightness. When these images were obtained (by Phil Nicholson (Cornell), Mike Meyer (UMASS), and Guy Worthey (Michigan)) at the 2.4m Hiltner Telescope at Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT observatories, the satellite Io was in transit across the disk of Jupiter. Io is a good reflector of sunlight at both 1.64 Ám and 2.26 Ám and provides yet another reference point to see how dark Jupiter itself appears at these wavelengths. Note that the shadow of Io is visible on the cloudtops of Jupiter in the leftmost image.

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