2018 schedule

Sun 16:30-17:00
Mercure Conservatory

Infrared Studies of the Outer Planets

Barry Adcock


Infrared Studies of the Outer Planets
The outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have been imaged using a set of infrared bandpass filters each with a band width of 40 nm. Modern infrared digital cameras allow the opportunity to acquire images into the micrometre region of the spectrum. The subtle differences between images using a range of bandpass filters is not obvious. Two methods have been developed to highlight the differences. On a gaseous surface the brightness of a feature at a given wavelength is closely related to temperature. The resulting images show the development and evolution of storms and festoons on Jupiter and lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere.
Infrared photography also provides a platform for imaging the planets during daylight hours. This is important if a particular feature is to be observed when the planet is near superior conjunction.