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Press Release 09-150

Storm Clouds Over Titan

Ground-based telescope captures first visual images of storm clouds over the tropics of Saturn's largest moon

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Gemini North infrared image of Jupiter and Titan.

Gemini North infrared image of Saturn and Titan (at about 6 o'clock position). Image obtained on May 7, 2009 (5:31 UTC), using the Altair adaptive optics system with the Near-infrared imager (NIRI). Color composite image made using data from three infrared filters (K' [2.0-2.1 microns], h210 [2.12 mircon narrowband], and bracket gamma [2.17 micron narrowband]), field of view is about 40 arcseconds across. Note to photo editors: The full-resolution images are at the native pixel dimensions of the data and are not available at higher resolution without resampling. At the edges of Saturn's ring, the F-ring is faintly visible. The F-ring was discovered in images from the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979 and is normally not apparent in images taken with ground-based telescopes. Also apparent are several of Saturn's smaller moons.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Henry Roe, Lowell Observatory/Emily Schaller, Insitute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i


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Astronomers Henry Roe of Lowell Observatory and Mike Brown of Caltech discuss recently announced observations of storm clouds in the tropics of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

Credit: Lowell Observatory, National Science Foundation

 

Gemini North adaptive optics image of Titan showing storm feature.

Gemini North adaptive optics image of Titan showing storm feature (bright area). Titan is about 0.8 arcsecond across in this 2.12 micron near-infrared image obtained on April 14, 2008 (UTC). Note to photo editors: This image is provided at full pixel resolution and is not available at higher resolution due to the nature of this data.

Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Henry Roe, Lowell Observatory/Emily Schaller, Insitute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (8 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.