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Home / Science / Neptune looks extremely sharp and very blue in these new pictures

Neptune looks extremely sharp and very blue in these new pictures



  Neptune! Seen through the MUSE / GALACSI instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope
Neptune! Viewed through the MUSE / GALACSI instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope

Image: ESO / P. Weilbacher (AIP)

Several billion kilometers from Earth, Neptune sees particularly sharp in a series of new images taken with one of the world's most powerful telescopes.

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory in Chile used so-called laser tomography to capture test images of the planet surrounding star clusters

The telescope's Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) device works with the so-called GALACSI Module for adaptive optics. This allows the telescope to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere, resulting in incredibly clear results, sharp images taken from Earth.

MUSE is the first instrument to benefit from two adaptive optical modes: wide-angle and narrow. Narrow Field mode produces these incredibly sharp images of Neptune – it nearly corrects all turbulence above the telescope, but only over a smaller portion of the sky.

Not sure how to represent the difference? Here's an idea of ​​how the planet looks through the telescope with and without adaptive optics.

<img class = "" data-credit-name = "ESO / P. Weilbacher (AIP)" data-credit-provider = "custom type" data-caption = "The image on the right is without the adaptive optics System in operation and the one on the left after the adaptive optics are switched on. " title = "The image on the right is without the adaptive optics system in operation and the one on the left after the adaptive optics are switched on." src = "https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/t7vo5-uzNl4wmh00HoevbhNUzaQ=/fit-in/1200×9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage% 2F813641% 2F0fe18f54-7de2-4177-abde-fa182a1c02e7.jpg "alt =" The image on the right is in operation without the adaptive optics system and the one on the left after the adaptive optics are switched on. [19659014] The image on the right is without the adaptive optics system in Operation and the left after the adaptive optics are turned on.

Image: ESO / P. Weilbacher (AIP)

ESO says these images are sharper than the images of Neptune with the Hubble Space Telescope Comparison between the VLT and the Hubble, which has taken an extraordinary picture of Neptune, but it is undeniably not so clear.

 The image to the right is a comparable image from the Hubble Space Telescope of NASA / ESA. that the two images were not taken at the same time and therefore not identical Show surface features.

The image to the right is a comparable image of NASA's NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Note that the two pictures were not taken at the same time and therefore do not have identical surface features.

Image: ESO / P. Weilbacher (AIP) / NASA, ES

And just for fun, how detailed the pictures of the surrounding star clusters in the VLT look like.

 The image to the left of MUSE in Wide Field Mode, without the Adaptive Optics System in Operation and the center panel is a magnification of a small portion of this view. The image on the right is the view from MUSE's narrow field mode when the adaptive optics are on.

The image to the left of MUSE in Wide Field mode, without the adaptive optics system in operation, and the center field is a magnification of a small portion of this view. The image on the right is the view from MUSE's narrow field mode when the adaptive optics are on.

Image: ESO / S. Kammann (LJMU)

Several billion kilometers away and looks crisp. While you're out there, why not just drop by Titan, Saturn's equally sharp moon?

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