Space Telescope Science
Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have produced new global maps of Jupiter – the first in a series of annual portraits of the solar system's outer planets from the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy program (OPAL). The two Jupiter maps, representing nearly back-to-back rotations of the planet on Jan. 19, 2015, show the movements of the clouds and make it possible to determine the speeds of Jupiter's winds. The Hubble observations confirm that the Great Red Spot continues to shrink and become more circular. In addition, an unusual wispy filament is seen, spanning almost the entire width of the vortex. These findings are described in a new paper published online in the October 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
The collection of maps to be obtained over time from the OPAL program will not only help scientists understand the atmospheres of our giant planets, but also the atmospheres of planets being discovered around other stars. For more visuals and information about this study, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble .
And to learn even more about Jupiter and Hubble, join the live Hubble Hangout discussion at 3:00 pm on Thurs., Oct. 15 at http://hbbl.us/y6C .