Jupiter in Ultraviolet from Hubble

Jupiter looks a bit different in ultraviolet light. To better interpret Jupiter’s cloud motions and to help NASA’s robotic Juno spacecraft understand the planetary context of the small fields that it sees, the Hubble Space Telescope is being directed to regularly image the entire Jovian giant.

Jupiter in Ultraviolet from Hubble

The colors of Jupiter being monitored go beyond the normal human visual range to include both ultraviolet and infrared light. Featured from 2017, Jupiter appears different in near ultraviolet light, partly because the amount of sunlight reflected back is distinct, giving differing cloud heights and latitudes discrepant brightnesses.

 

In the near UV, Jupiter’s poles appear relatively dark, as does its Great Red Spot and a smaller (optically) white oval to the right. The String of Pearl storms farther to the right, however, are brightest in near ultraviolet, and so here appear (false-color) pink. Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede appears on the upper left.

 

Juno continues on its looping 53-day orbits around Jupiter, while Earth-orbiting Hubble is now recovering from the loss of a stabilizing gyroscope.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt

Orion in Red and Blue

 

This colorful rendition of part of the constellation of Orion comes from red light emitted by hydrogen and sulfur (SII), and blue-green light emitted by oxygen (OIII).

Orion in Red and Blue

Hues on the featured image were then digitally reassigned to be indicative of their elemental origins but also striking to the human eye. The breathtaking composite was painstakingly composed from hundreds of images which took nearly 200 hours to collect.

Pictured, Barnard’s Loop, across the image bottom, appears to cradle interstellar constructs including the intricate Orion Nebula seen just right of center. The Flame Nebula can also be quickly located, but it takes a careful eye to identify the slight indentation of the dark Horsehead Nebula. As to Orion’s flashiness  a leading explanation for the origin of Barnard’s Loop is a supernova blast that occurred about two million years ago.

Image Credit & Copyright: David Lindemann

Stars and Dust in Corona Australis

 

Cosmic dust clouds and energetic stars inhabit this telescopic vista, less than 500 light-years away toward the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown.

The dust clouds effectively block light from more distant background stars in the Milky Way. But the striking complex of reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, and IC 4812 produce a characteristic color as blue light from the region’s hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust.

Stars and Dust in Corona Australis

The dust also obscures from view stars still in the process of formation. At top right, smaller yellowish nebula NGC 6729 bends around variable star R Coronae Australis.

Near it, glowing arcs and loops shocked by outflows from embedded newborn stars are identified as Herbig-Haro objects. On the sky this field of view spans about 1 degree. That corresponds to almost 9 light-years at the estimated distance of the nearby star forming region.

Image Credit & Copyright: Josep Drudis