Hubble Monitors Jupiter in Support of the New Horizons Flyby
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has recently taken images of Jupiter in support of the New Horizons Mission. The images were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hubble will continue to photograph Jupiter, as well as its volcanically active moon, Io, over the next month as the New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter. New Horizons is en route to Pluto, and made its closest approach to Jupiter on February 28, 2007. Through combined remote imaging by Hubble and in situ measurements by New Horizons, the two missions will enhance each other scientifically, allowing scientists to learn more about the Jovian atmosphere, the aurorae, and the charged-particle environment of Jupiter and its interaction with the solar wind.
For this photo, the combined ultraviolet- and visible-light images of Jupiter were taken with Hubble from February 17-21. The image segments in the boxes, obtained using the Advanced Camera for Surveys's ultraviolet camera, show auroral emissions that are always present in Jupiter's polar regions. The equatorial regions of Jupiter were imaged in blue light by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Cloud features in Jupiter's main atmosphere are revealed. In the ultraviolet views, the atmosphere looks more hazy because sunlight is reflected from higher in the atmosphere.