Astronomers capture Jupiter’s new images using the ‘lucky’ technique

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Astronomers have ‘finally’ captured some of the highest resolution images of Jupiter ever taken from the ground using a technique known as ‘lucky imaging.’

The observations, from the Gemini North telescope on the dormant Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, reveal lightning strikes and storm systems forming deep water and liquid clouds. The images show the warm, deep layers of the planet’s atmosphere glowing through gaps in thick cloud cover with a “jack-o-lantern “- like effect.

“The Gemini data were critical because they allowed us to probe deeply into Jupiter’s clouds on a regular schedule,” said Michael Wong of University of California, Berkeley, who led the research team. “We used a very powerful technique called lucky imaging.”

The technique involves obtaining a large number of very short exposure images, and then using only the sharpest ones, when the Earth’s atmosphere is briefly stable, and discarding the rest. The most recent observations provide some of the sharpest infrared images of Jupiter ever taken from the ground.  “These images rival the view from space,”  Wong said.

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