Monday, 19 August, 2019

Hubble Space Telescope Takes Detailed Portrait of Jupiter

Hubble Showcases New Portrait of Jupiter Hubble Image Gives Close-Up Look at Jupiter's Turbulent Atmosphere
Sandra Phillips | 10 August, 2019, 17:29

It features the planet's trademark Great Red Spot and a more intense colour palette in the clouds swirling in the planet's turbulent atmosphere than seen in previous years.

Perhaps one day we'll launch a mission capable of piercing Jupiter's atmosphere and telling us what lies within, but until then we'll just have to enjoy the glorious eye candy that Jupiter provides.

"Astronomers don't have definitive answers, for example, why cloud bands and storms change colours or why storms shrink in size".

According to NASA, the Great Red Spot is "anchored in roiling atmosphere" that receives heat from deep inside of the planet.

The anticyclonic storm has been spotted from Earth as early 350 years ago but astronomers fear it is shrinking.

Scientist have no idea why the Great Red Spot is shrinking and continue to observe Jupiter try and learn why.

This global map of Jupiter released by NASA on August 8, 2019 was created using imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Colorful bands of clouds move around the Great Red Spot.

It is shaped like a wedding cake, whose upper haze layer extends more than 3 miles (5 km) higher than clouds in other areas.

The Great Red Spot itself churns along counterclockwise between two cloud bands, with each band moving in opposite directions above and below the hurricane.

The two white oval features are anticyclones, essentially smaller versions of the Great Red Spot. The various other white and brown spots in the clouds of Jupiter are much smaller storms and can last for a few hours or centuries.

The rapid winds separating these clouds can reach 403 miles per hour.

"The swirling filaments seen around the outer edge of the red super storm are high-altitude clouds that are being pulled in and around it".

The worm-shaped feature located south of the Great Red Spot is a cyclone, a vortex spinning in the opposite direction to that in which the Great Red Spot spins. The new Hubble image is part of that annual study, which is called the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program (OPAL), a project that aims to obtain long time baseline observations of outer planets to understand their atmospheric dynamics.

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