News Release Archive:

News Release 133 of 192

April 24, 1996 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1996-15

Hubble Captures Detailed Image of Uranus's Atmosphere

April 24, 1996: The Hubble telescope has peered deep into Uranus's atmosphere to see clear and hazy layers created by a mixture of gases. Using infrared filters, Hubble captured detailed features of three layers of the planet's atmosphere.

Hubble's images are different from the ones taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Uranus 10 years ago. Those images - not taken in infrared light - showed a greenish-blue disk with very little detail. The infrared image allows astronomers to probe the structure of the planet's atmosphere, which consists mostly of hydrogen with traces of methane.

Credit: Erich Karkoschka (University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Lab) and NASA