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This image of Neptune was taken on 22 July 2003 with the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch (5-meter) Hale Telescope and its Adaptive Optics system. The Adaptive Optics system removes the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere to produce very high resolution images.
Antonin Bouchez of the California Institute of Technology collected the data and processed them to produce this false color image. Images taken at 2.0, 1.6, and 1.1 micron were combined as red, green, and blue to create this false-color image. Clouds can be seen at Neptune's northern limb, and in several bands at mid-southern latitudes. Some clouds appear higher than others, showing up as pink in this image.
The research was based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a collaborative agreement between the California Institute of Technology, its divisions Caltech Optical Observatories and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (operated for NASA), and Cornell University.
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