The two images were snapped from one of the orbiting antennas of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope during its last full day of observing at near-infrared wavelengths.
These two photos reveal the first view of the world in visible light.
If these planets (with orbital diameters between 5 to 40 times the Earth’s Earth) were to harbor life as we know it, they’d be quite a lot brighter than anything in the solar system.
But for the first time the view has been captured in infrared wavelengths, allowing us to better see the entire system at once.
You can see how it looks in the blue-green map below.
Advertisement The images were created after Kepler took an infrared picture of the Sun each day over the course of five months.
That data allowed astronomers to figure out how long the planet was in orbit at the very bottom of the telescope field, as seen in the left side of the image.
By knowing the times of the dips in the light each image revealed, they can now estimate how long Kepler has been orbiting the system, and can start plotting where and how it should head when it dives into a reservoir of gas and dust in the solar nebula to study the planet’s interior.
This combination, called the HiRISE Imager, was able to capture images during the daytime, but at the same time, they could capture images during the nighttime when the sun is too bright to properly observe Earth’s day.
The result is a combination of infrared and near-infrared imagery that is highly detailed and has been imaged by both space- and ground-based telescopes.
The high resolution gives information about the atmospheric composition of each moon as well as the composition and density of the rocks and sediments beneath these moons.
The image in the right is from the HiRISE Imager showing a combination of infrared and near-infrared images.
These images can be zoomed in to the point of view and even rotated to increase the amount of detail.
As the image is rotated the sharpness increases.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/MSSS This is the HiRISE Imager with an exposure time of 9 hours, 4 minutes.
The HiRISE Imager instrument was constructed by the University of California, Berkeley.
This is a great addition to the HiRISE suite.