This sequence of pre-impact images was taken with the IRTF facility infrared camera, NSFCAM. A 2.26 m methane filter was used to suppress glare from the planet and enhance detection of the rings and faint inner satellites. The six images cover a period of about two hours, during which rotation of the planet and two satellites is seen. Time increases from upper-left to lower-right in normal reading fashion. The 40 km diameter satellite Metis is clearly observed skirting the immediate edge of the ring. Metis first appears in the second image, following transit across the face of the planet. The brighter satellite, Amalthea, first appears in the third image before transiting across the planet. Following the comet fragment impacts with Jupiter similar observation will be made to see whether the rings have swept up fresh cometary material, and become brighter.

John Rayner (rayner@galileo.ifa.hawaii.edu)