Hubble Space Telescope works in collaboration with the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy program, and its images allow scientists to study not only outer planets and their atmosphere but also to learn more about Earth’s atmosphere.
This time, a solar system planet was the main character of the sky: Hubble took an astonishingly detailed portrait of Jupiter.
What do scientists appreciate in those news images?
- The planet’s Great Red Spot
Bands of clouds can be seen moving towards the Great Red Spot ─a circular storm that matches Earth’s diameter. This storm has lasted 150 years that we know of and is continuing to shrink, but scientists don’ know why.
- Storms much smaller in size
Those smaller events ─ which can last hours or centuries─ dot the surface and are represented by brown or white ovals.
- A warm? No, it’s a cyclone
Just below the Great Red Spot, it has found a shape similar to a worm, but it’s a cyclone spinning in the opposite direction of the storm above it.
- Parallel cloud bands also
This kind of clouds is created by ammonia ice clouds that vary in height and thickness, with air flowing in different directions, depending on their latitudes. The lighter bands rise the highest, while thicker clouds represent the darker ribbons in the band.
This level of detail enables science to go deeper into the study of this planet and let us know more about our Universe.
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Image by: CNN