This one, showing the entire plant in infrared light, was compiled from a mosaic of nine separate pointings on 29 May 2019.
From a lucky imaging set of 38 exposures taken at each pointing, the research team selected the sharpest 10%, combining them to image one ninth of Jupiter’s disk. Stacks of exposures at the nine pointings were then combined to make one clear, global view of the planet.
Even though it only takes a few seconds for Gemini to create each image set, completing all 38 exposures in a set can take minutes – long enough for features to rotate noticeably across the disc.
In order to compare and combine the images, they are first mapped to their actual latitude and longitude on Jupiter, using the limb, or edge of the disc, as a reference. Once the mosaics are compiled into a full disc, the final images are some of the highest-resolution infrared views of Jupiter ever taken from the ground.
The work is part of a multi-year joint observing program with the Hubble Space Telescope in support of NASA’s Juno mission. It was led by Michael Wong, from the University of California, Berkeley, and is described in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal.
Wong and colleagues have made the processed Gemini and Hubble data available to other researchers through the Mikulski Archives for Space Telescopes.
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