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Tracking a Jovian Outbreak

2 Jul 2020, 16:39 UTC
Tracking a Jovian Outbreak
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Another win for amateur astronomers. Have a look at a Juno image showing the familiar Great Red Spot (upper left) and a new, bright spot just emerging in the center of the image, an oval-shaped feature that was not present in images taken several days earlier by astronomers in Australia. We’re looking at a plume erupting into the upper layers of the atmosphere, a convective outbreak in a region known as the South Temperate Belt, a latitude where outbreaks are not uncommon.

Image: Juno’s view of the swath of Jupiter visible from its recent flyby. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS. Image processing by Kevin M. Gill.
The Juno image, taken on June 2, 2020, is fortuitous, because it was just two days before that Australian amateur Clyde Foster discovered the new spot while working with a filter sensitive to wavelengths where there is strong methane absorption in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Juno happened to be in the midst of its 27th close flyby of the giant planet, and while the craft would not pass directly over the outbreak, the science team realized it was close enough to view the young feature.
Credit goes to another amateur, Kevin M. Gill, for work on the Juno image ...

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