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Recent Hubble Observations of Jupiter


Date: Tue, 13 Jun 95 08:39:37 -0400
Subject: New HST Images of Jupiter

Some ground-based observers have reported visible-wavelength detection of Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact material at southern latitudes on Jupiter since December 1994. However, Beebe et al. presented a visible-wavelength color reconstruction of Jupiter taken with HST WFPC 2 in February 1995 which showed no clear signs of the impact material (Beebe, Simon, and Chanover, poster at IAU Symposium 156). We obtained HST WFPC 2 images of Jupiter in early March 1995 to follow up on the impact material development. In visible-wavelength images (410 and 547 nm) made with the Planetary Camera (0.04 "/pixel) on 4 March 1995, we see a few regions at the impact latitude which are somewhat darker than their surroundings (which may or may not be leftover impact material), but there is no evidence for a continuous dark belt of material. When we smooth the images to ground-based resolution, several of these join to resemble part of a band, but the contrast is not as striking as other dark bands on Jupiter. At the 889-nm methane band, limb brightening is enhanced at the impact latitudes, indicating some aerosol material remaining at the impact latitudes. The absorbing material also appears clearly in all images below 3000 Angstroms: north/south intensity traces across UV images (160, 218, and 255 nm) show the depth of absorption generally increasing toward shorter wavelengths.

J. Clarke and H. Hammel, for the HST Comet Team

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