The trick is adaptive optics, where deformable mirrors (and sometimes lasers) are used to reduce the blurring caused by the presence of the atmosphere on the images. Read more about how a similar system works here.
The Saturn mission of our faithful discoverer Cassini lasted over a decade, sending back incredible images and data. Although it deliberately crashed into the surface of Saturn last September, its data is still changing our view of the solar system.
These images of Saturn's moon Titan were taken in the infrared. Cassini collected images of the satellite for 13 years, and all of this data has now been transformed into these stunning views. According to a NASA press release, these images "represent some of the clearest, most seamless global views on the surface of the icy moon that have been produced so far."
On July 1
Juno gives us some incredible pictures of our biggest planet. If you can not wait any longer and want more pictures of Jupiter, check out our Jovian guessing game.
Pluto's True Colors
Some pretty amazing pictures of Pluto impressed the world when they were released in 2015. But New Horizons – the spacecraft that took the pictures – had cameras that go far beyond the available spectrum to us mere humans. The result was gorgeous images, but not images that matched what we would see if we managed to fly all the way there and see Pluto with our own eyes. This new image corrects that and allows us to see how Pluto might look without any wrong color changes.
Click here to see Pluto's Moon Charon in real colors. To learn more about the process, read this Twitter thread by planetary astronomer Alex Parker – who processed the photos – for more details on how to adjust the colors to match our eyes ,
New Volcano on Io
Bonus picture! It's not as clear and breathtaking as the pictures above, but this glowing image of Jupiter's moon Io has also brought the news this week. Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system and bubbles lava in such huge and impressive amounts that the eruption peaks of the earth pit positive in comparison.
This week, researchers announced that they have identified a possible new volcano on the Moon using infrared data collected last December from the Juno spacecraft.