Images: Neptune (1) without Adaptive optics (2) with Adaptive Optics
Caption: Neptune observed in the near-infrared (1.65 microns) with and without adaptive optics. Neptune is the outermost of the giant planets in our solar system, but also has the most dynamic and rapidly-changing weather patterns. This near-infrared image is primarily sensitive to such high-altitude clouds, which appear bright against the darker disk. Adaptive optics allows ground-based telescopes to monitor Neptune's evolving weather systems and to use spectroscopy to probe different altitudes in its poorly-understood atmosphere.
Source: Center for Adaptive Optics, Univ. of California
NSF funded: yes
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