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Hubble Supports New Horizons Jupiter Flyby

03.01.07

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has recently taken images of Jupiter in support of the New Horizons Mission. The images were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hubble will continue to photograph Jupiter as well as its volcanically active moon, Io, over the next month as the New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter. New Horizons is en route to Pluto, and made its closest approach to Jupiter on February 28, 2007.

Through combined remote imaging by Hubble and in situ measurements by New Horizons, the two missions will enhance each other scientifically, allowing scientists to learn more about the Jovian atmosphere, the aurorae, and the charged particle environment of Jupiter and its interaction with the solar wind.

Hubble Images Jupiter in Support of the New Horizons Flyby

2007 Hubble image of Jupiter


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this true-color view of Jupiter in support of the New Horizons Mission. The image was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on February 17, 2007, using the planetary camera detector. Jupiter's trademark belts and zones of high- and low-pressure regions appear in crisp detail. Circular convection cells can be seen at high northern and southern latitudes. Atmospheric features as small as 250 miles (400 km) across can be discerned.

Hubble will continue to photograph Jupiter as well as its volcanically active moon, Io, over the next month as the New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter. New Horizons is en route to Pluto, and will make its closest approach to Jupiter on February 28, 2007.

Through combined remote imaging by Hubble and in situ measurements by New Horizons, the two missions will support each other scientifically to learn more about the Jovian atmosphere, the aurorae, and the charged-particle environment of Jupiter and its interaction with the solar wind. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Hubble Follows Jupiter Aurorae

2007 Hubble image of a Jupiter aurora


Combined ultraviolet- and visible-light images of Jupiter from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope were taken from February 17-21 in support of the New Horizons flyby of Jupiter on February 28.

The image segments in the boxes were obtained using Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys's ultraviolet camera. The ultraviolet images show auroral emissions that are always present in the polar regions of Jupiter. They are typically 10-100 times brighter than the northern lights seen on the Earth. The aurorae are produced when charged particles from the Sun become trapped in Jupiter's powerful magnetic field. They cause gasses to fluoresce high in Jupiter's atmosphere, near the planet's magnetic poles.

The equatorial regions of Jupiter in this photo were imaged in blue light on February 17, 2007 by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. This reveals cloud features in Jupiter's main atmosphere. In the ultraviolet views, the atmosphere looks more hazy because sunlight is reflected from higher in the atmosphere.

Hubble will continue to photograph Jupiter as well as its volcanically active moon, Io, over the next month as the New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter. New Horizons is en route to Pluto, and made its closest approach to Jupiter on February 28, 2007.

Through combined remote imaging by Hubble and in situ measurements by New Horizons, the two missions will enhance each other scientifically, allowing scientists to learn more about the Jovian atmosphere, the aurorae, and the charged-particle environment of Jupiter and its interaction with the solar wind. Credit: NASA/ESA, and John Clarke (Boston University)

Hubble Observes Volcanic Io

Hubble image of Io


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is monitoring the volcanically active moon Io in support of the February 28 New Horizons spacecraft flyby of Jupiter. These images were taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on February 14, 2007. The left image, taken in natural color, reveals orange oval deposits of sulfur around the Pele volcano, and other familiar surface features on Io, which is innermost of the Galilean satellites. The ultraviolet image on the right shows a big plume rising above the surface, not far from the north pole. Though Io is no bigger than Earth's geologically dead Moon, Io's interior is kept molten due to the gravitational tug of Jupiter and the other Galilean satellites.

Hubble will continue to photograph Io, as well as Jupiter over the next month, as the New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter. New Horizons is en route to Pluto, and will make its closest approach to Jupiter on February 28, 2007.

Through combined remote imaging by Hubble and in situ measurements by New Horizons, the two missions will enhance each other scientifically, allowing scientists to learn more about the Jovian atmosphere, the aurorae, and Jupiter's charged-particle environment and its interaction with the solar wind. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Spencer and K. Jessup, (Southwest Research Institute), and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/AURA)

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. The Institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., Washington.

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Editor: Lynn Jenner
NASA Official: Brian Dunbar
Last Updated: March 1, 2007
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