SGU Science Picture Of The Week: Jupiter's Glamour Shots
Jupiter has recently had its own glamour shots recently and they are not only gorgeous, they reveal structures and complexities in its upper cloud layers like no other images before it.
With all the focus recently on Pluto, the “real” planets in our solar system must have been feeling left out.
NASA’s Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy program has a goal to provide annual pictures of all our solar system’s planets so we can see not only how they change but how they look in 4K Ultra HD.
The first planet off the blocks is Jupiter. Here’s the highlights about what we’ve learned with these new pictures
Jupiter’s Red spot is perhaps one of the most iconic structures in the entire solar system. It has been said for years that you could fit 3 earths inside this long-lasting storm. That fact has been wrong for quite some time now. The incredible shrinking spot can now comfortably fit only one. This mysterious shrinking accelerated in 2014 but these new images of the Red Spot show that the rate of shrinkage has stabilized. Still, it shrank 150 miles last year. (it’s also more orange than red now) Enjoy it while you can folks.
THE REAPPEARING WAVE
Voyager 2 in 1979 spot an unusual wave-like structure in the gas just above the equator. All subsequent pictures showed that it was gone making it seem like it was a transient fluke. Well, now it back and no one is quite sure what the hell is causing it.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. SIMON (GSFC), M. WONG (UC BERKELEY), AND G. ORTON (JPL-CALTECH).