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Busy Jupiter

Image: Anthony Wesley

Something happened to the planet Jupiter between the end of last year and early April.  It may be nothing more than white clouds moving over the dark clouds that defined one of it’s familiar stripes- but those puppies are gone.

That roughly 4-month period is when Jupiter got too close to the sun in the sky for anyone to see it.  When it emerged last month- no dark stripe in the southern hemisphere.  This has happened before, once in 1973 and in the early 1990’s. 

David Shiga has a nice piece on this at newscientist.com

And it’s not the only stuff going on:

The disappearance of the belt comes at a time of widespread – but mysterious – change on Jupiter, which has seen changes to the colour of other bands and spots in its atmosphere

Interesting solar system.

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