Three Red Spots Mix It Up on Jupiter
This sequence of Hubble Space Telescope images offers an unprecedented view of a planetary game of Pac-Man among three red spots clustered together in Jupiter's atmosphere.
The time series shows the passage of the "Red Spot Jr." in a band of clouds below (south) of the Great Red Spot (GRS). "Red Spot Jr." first appeared on Jupiter in early 2006 when a previously white storm turned red. This is the second time, since turning red, it has skirted past its big brother apparently unscathed.
But this is not the fate of "baby red spot," which is in the same latitudinal band as the GRS. This new red spot first appeared earlier this year. The baby red spot gets ever closer to the GRS in this picture sequence until it is caught up in the anticyclonic spin of the GRS.
In the final image the baby spot is deformed and pale in color and has been spun to the right (east) of the GRS. (Amateur astronomers' observations confirm that this is the baby spot that migrated around the GRS.) The prediction is that the baby spot will now get pulled back into the GRS "Cuisinart" and disappear for good. This is one possible mechanism that has powered and sustained the GRS for at least 150 years.
These three natural-color Jupiter images were made from data acquired on May 15, June 28, and July 8, 2008 by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Each one covers 58 degrees of Jovian "latitude" and 70 degrees of "longitude" (centered on 5 degrees South latitude and 110, 121 and 121 degrees West longitude, respectively).
Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon-Miller (Goddard Space Flight Center), N. Chanover (New Mexico State University) and G. Orton (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
For images and more information, visit:
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) and is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble science operations. The institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., Washington, D.C.
Ray Villard | Newswise Science News
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...