Jupiter lost a stripe!

Uranus brings surprising events, and as Jupiter is nearing a conjunction to Uranus we see this news:

Jupiter has lost one of its prominent stripes, leaving its southern half looking unusually blank. Scientists are not sure what triggered the disappearance of the band.

Jupiter’s appearance is usually dominated by two dark bands in its atmosphere – one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.

But recent images taken by amateur astronomers show that the southern band – called the south equatorial belt – has disappeared.

The band was present at the end of 2009, right before Jupiter moved too close to the sun in the sky to be observed from Earth. When the planet emerged from the sun’s glare again in early April, its south equatorial belt was nowhere to be seen.

As our observation equipment becomes more precise we will have the opportunity to observe more planetary changes.  Not all of these changes affect us directly, but the synchronicity is always interesting!

By | 2010-05-13T17:35:31+00:00 May 13th, 2010|Astronomy|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Dave Stewart June 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    The article says that cloud cover may be responsible for the recent changes in Jupiter’s coloration. Maybe we will have to wait until Jupiter retrogrades back into Pisces (which rules clouds) on Sep 8 and then move forward to stay in Aries for the stripe to reappear after January 22. Or do we have to wait until Uranus and the Sun also go into Aries in March? Stay tuned.

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