Release 833 of 1,091

Hubble Provides Infrared View of Moon, Ring, and Clouds

Release date: Nov 20, 1997 12:00 AM (EST)

Probing Jupiter's atmosphere for the first time, the Hubble telescope's infrared camera is providing a sharp glimpse of the planet's ring, moon, and high-altitude clouds.

The presence of methane in Jupiter's hydrogen- and helium-rich atmosphere has allowed Hubble to plumb Jupiter's atmosphere, revealing bands of high-altitude clouds. Visible-light observations cannot provide a clear view of these high clouds because the underlying clouds reflect so much visible light that the higher-level clouds are indistinguishable from the lower layer.