PHARO Science Images

A pair of images of the Trapezium cluster in the Orion Nebula, taken on the first night that the AO system achieved lock on a guide star. The left image was taken with the AO system off; the seeing was about 1 arcsec. With the AO system locked on Theta 1 Ori C (brightest star), the stellar images were about 0.2" across. The field of view is 40x40 arcseconds.

Near-infrared images of Uranus taken with the Palomar AO system and PHARO on August 1, 1999. The AO system was locked on the disk of the planet to produce about 0.25 arcsec angular resolution. At 1.2 and 1.6 microns wavelength, atmospheric features around the north pole and near the equator are visible. At 2.2 microns, methane absorption renders the disk of the planet almost invisible, but faint limb-brightening can be detected. The Uranian ring system and two moons: Miranda (magnitude ~15) and Puck (~19), are most easily visible in the 2.2 micron image.

Near-infrared images of Neptune taken with the Palomar AO system and PHARO on August 29, 1999. The AO loop was open for the left image, showing the planet's normal appearance in ~1" seeing. With the AO loop closed (right) the angular resolution is about 0.2 arcsec.