Hubble Captures Crisp New Portrait of Jupiter

Stsci_2020-42a_1024

stsci_2020-42a September 17th, 2020

Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon, M. Wong and the OPAL team

This latest image of Jupiter, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on August 25, 2020, was captured when the planet was 406 million miles from Earth. Hubble’s sharp view is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet’s turbulent atmosphere, including a remarkable new storm brewing, and a cousin of the Great Red Spot changing color – again.

A unique and exciting detail of Hubble’s snapshot appears at mid-northern latitudes as a bright white stretched-out storm moving at 350 miles per hour (563 kilometers per hour). This single plume erupted on August 18, 2020 and another has since appeared.

While it’s common for storms to pop up in this region, oftentimes multiple at once, this particular disturbance appears to have more structure behind it than observed in storms of the past. Trailing behind the plume are small, counterclockwise-like dark clumps also not witnessed in the past. Researchers speculate this may be the beginning of a longer-lasting Northern Hemisphere spot, as perhaps a rival to the legendary Great Red Spot that dominates the southern hemisphere.

Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot, rolling counterclockwise in the planet’s southern hemisphere, is plowing into the clouds ahead of it, forming a cascade of white and beige ribbons. The Great Red Spot is currently an exceptionally rich red color, with its core and outermost band appearing deeper red.

Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 9,800 miles across, big enough to swallow Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but its rate of downsizing appears to have slowed. The reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.

Another feature researchers are noticing has changed is Oval BA, nicknamed by astronomers as Red Spot, Jr., which appears just below the Great Red Spot in this image. For the past few years, Red Spot, Jr. has been fading in color to its original shade of white after appea

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2020/news-2020-42

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

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Image Details

Image Type
Planetary
Object Name
Jupiter
Subject - Solar System
Planet > Type > Gas Giant

Distance

Universescale1
0 ly

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 19h 16m 54.9s
DEC = -22° 39’ 51.4”
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFC3/UVIS) Ultraviolet (CaII) 395.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3/UVIS) Optical (OIII) 502.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFC3/UVIS) Optical (OI) 631.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Stsci_2020-42a_1280
×
ID
2020-42a
Subject Category
A.1.1.2  
Subject Name
Jupiter
Credits
NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon, M. Wong and the OPAL team
Release Date
2020-09-17T00:00:00
Lightyears
6.91e-5
Redshift
6.91e-5
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2020/news-2020-42
Type
Planetary
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance from Earth in miles: 406000000
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFC3/UVIS, WFC3/UVIS, WFC3/UVIS
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Ultraviolet, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
CaII, OIII, OI
Central Wavelength
395, 502, 631
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
289.2286250, -22.6642639
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p2042a-f-1663x1663.tif
Metadata Date
2022-09-07T11:36:03-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
0