Here is a version of the above image with twice the resolution. Sorry about all the fringing - it seems to be an artifact of the way some browsers (Netscape!) decode JPG's. Saving the image and viewing it with an external application will help.

This is what Saturn would look like if our eyes saw in the near-IR instead of the optical. This RGB composite image is actually made with the K, H, and J filters (2.2, 1.6, and 1.2 microns). I have made the color balance a little more green than it ought to be in order to make the image a bit softer on the eyes. The planet is actually very blue (due to methane absorption, one planetary grad student tells me), and the rings appear red in comparison. Many cloud bands, as well as at least one equatorial storm, are clearly visible. Many rings can also be seen.

This is a total of 8 minutes of exposure time on the UH 2.2m with no guiding. 50 iterations of the Richardson-Lucy algorithm have been applied. The achieved resolution is about 0.2" or better. NE is to the upper left. The QUIRC camera was used. Thank god we have a 1024x1024 IR camera, or the planet would never fit on the array!


This image shows the moon Dione. Because the three colors were taken at different times, the moon leaves a multicolored trail as it revolves around Saturn.




And this an enhanced close-up of the Saturn image showing the ring shadow.