Astronomy Department Research Project


OPAL

Project Type

Planetary


Affiliated Faculty:

Researchers:

Postdocs:

    Graduate Students:

    Additional Members:

    Joshua Tollefson (Graduate Student in EPS)
    Andrew Hsu (Undergraduate in Physics)
    Philip Marcus (Professor in Mechanical Engineering)
    Amy Simon (OPAL PI, NASA Goddard)
    Glenn Orton (JPL)

    Project Description

    Lead: Michael H. Wong

    OPAL---the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy program---maps each planet for two consecutive rotations, every year, using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on Hubble.

    The main goal of OPAL is to observe each of the giant planets for long-duration time-domain studies of storm activity, wind field variability, and changes in aerosol distributions and colors. The data are being used with older Hubble and other spacecraft data sets to expand the time domain even further.



    Project Photos

    • Image for OPAL
    • Global map and jet speeds (yellow) of Jupiter, from OPAL 2016 data. Speeds range from -50 to +150 m/s (Tollefson et al. 2017).

      Global map and jet speeds (yellow) of Jupiter, from OPAL 2016 data. Speeds range from -50 to +150 m/s (Tollefson et al. 2017).

    • Discovery and evolution of a new dark vortex on Neptune (Wong et al. 2018).

      Discovery and evolution of a new dark vortex on Neptune (Wong et al. 2018).

    • Rapid cloud evolution on Uranus: cloud feature fades in 45 min even after geometric correction (Wong et al. 2015).

      Rapid cloud evolution on Uranus: cloud feature fades in 45 min even after geometric correction (Wong et al. 2015).

    • A new type of wave seen in Jupiter's atmosphere (Simon et al. 2015).

      A new type of wave seen in Jupiter's atmosphere (Simon et al. 2015).

    • Using OPAL data to measure the shrinking Great Red Spot on Jupiter (Simon et al. 2018).

      Using OPAL data to measure the shrinking Great Red Spot on Jupiter (Simon et al. 2018).

    • OPAL images show individual cloud features responsible for lightcurve variation in K2 Neptune observations (Simon et al. 2016).

      OPAL images show individual cloud features responsible for lightcurve variation in K2 Neptune observations (Simon et al. 2016).



    Project Videos

    Hubble Captures New Maps of Jupiter