Thursday, March 23, 2023

Planet Jupiter & Io Moon: Nov. 2022 | Hubble Space Telescope

Planet Jupiter & Io Moon: Nov. 2022 | Hubble Space Telescope
The forecast for Jupiter is for stormy weather at low northern latitudes. A prominent string of alternating storms is visible, forming a ‘vortex street’ as some planetary astronomers call it. This is a wave pattern of nested cyclones and anticyclones, locked together like the alternating gears of a machine moving clockwise and counterclockwise. If the storms get close enough to each other and merge together, they could build an even larger storm, potentially rivalling the current size of the Great Red Spot. The staggered pattern of cyclones and anticyclones prevents individual storms from merging. Activity is also seen interior to these storms; in the 1990s Hubble did not see any cyclones or anticyclones with built-in thunderstorms, but these storms have sprung up in the last decade. Strong color differences indicate that Hubble is seeing different cloud heights and depths as well.

The orange moon Io photobombs this view of Jupiter’s multicolored cloud tops, casting a shadow toward the planet’s western limb. Hubble’s resolution is so sharp that it can see Io’s mottled-orange appearance, the result of its numerous active volcanoes. These volcanoes were first discovered when the Voyager 1 spacecraft flew by in 1979. The moon’s molten interior is overlaid by a thin crust through which the volcanoes eject material. Sulphur takes on various hues at different temperatures, which is why Io’s surface is so colorful. This photo was taken on November 12, 2022.

Image Description: Jupiter looms large in this image. Set against a black background, the planet is banded in stripes of brownish orange, light gray, soft yellow, and shades of cream. White and cream colored ovals punctuate the planet at all latitudes.

Credit: NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), A. Simon (NASA-GSFC), M. H. Wong (UC Berkeley), J. DePasquale (STScI)
Release Date: March 23, 2023

#NASA #ESA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Hubble #Planet #Jupiter #Moon #Io #SolarSystem #Exploration #HST #SpaceTelescope #GSFC #STScI #UnitedStates #Europe #STEM #Education

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