Volume 417, Number 1, April I 2004
|Page(s)||L21 - L24|
|Published online||16 March 2004|
Letter to the Editor
VLT/NACO adaptive optics imaging of Titan*
Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, UMR 8109 du CNRS, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble, France
3 ONERA – DOTA, 92322 Châtillon, France
4 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild -Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Corresponding author: E. Gendron, Eric.Gendron@obspm.fr
Accepted: 17 January 2004
The advent of the NAOS/CONICA adaptive optics system at the ESO Very Large Telescope recently gave us the opportunity to map the surface of Titan and to search for atmospheric variations at high spatial resolution and contrast. We report here the first results from a series of observations of Titan performed with this instrument in a number of near-infrared narrow-band filters, covering various altitude regions and three different longitudes (out of the 16 days of Titan's orbit). We have achieved unequaled contrast on images showing complex topography on Titan's trailing hemisphere and have found robust evidence for the north-south asymmetry inversion. The presence of other interesting atmospheric features at Titan's South Pole is described.
Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics / planets and satellites: individual: Titan / infrared: solar system
© ESO, 2004
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