Keck telescope pictures of the rings of Jupiter. Jupiter's rings are not nearly as bright as those of Saturn, so we had to use the biggest telescope in the world to take these pictures. This is a composite of two night's worth of observations. The images were taken using an infrared camera working at a wavelength of 2-microns (about 3 times longer than visible light). At this wavelength, Jupiter is relatively dark, because methane absorbs all of the light, but the rings, shining due to reflected sunlight, are relatively bright (though still about a hundred times fainter than Jupiter's disk; we had to enhance the image considerably so that you could see the rings and Jupiter at the same time).

The images were taken by Imke de Pater and James Graham (UC Berkeley), and Mike Brown (Caltech).

Back to Mike's homepage