These sharp views
of tilted gas
giant Uranus show dramatic
details of the planet's atmosphere and
images were made using a
near-infrared camera and the Keck Adaptive Optics
system to reduce the blurring effects
of Earth's atmosphere.
Recorded in July, the pictures show two sides of
Uranus (careful how you
In both, high, white cloud features are seen mostly in
the northern (right hand) hemisphere, with medium level
cloud bands in green and lower level clouds in blue.
The artificial color scheme lends a deep reddish tint to the
otherwise faint rings.
Because of the severe tilt of its rotational axis,
seasons on Uranus are extreme and
last nearly 21 Earth years on the distant planet.
Uranus is now slowly approaching its southern autumnal
equinox - the beginning of fall in the southern
hemisphere - in 2007.