Release 992 of 1,156

Hubble Space Telescope Observations of Neptune

Release date: Jun 14, 1995 12:00 AM (EDT)

Two groups have recently used the Hubble telescope to acquire high-resolution images of the planet Neptune. These images represent the clearest views of Neptune since the Voyager 2 flyby in August 1989. The observations are providing a wealth of new information about the structure, composition, and meteorology of this distant planet's atmosphere.

The pictures show several bright clouds, which are thought to be high above the main cloud deck and above much of the absorbing methane gas. The edge of the planet's disk also appears somewhat bright, indicating the presence of a ubiquitous high-altitude haze layer.