Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is now closer than ever, thanks to NASA’s Hubble Telescope. As the space telescope passed near the giant planet, we now have a glance at its most famous feature. New images display a series of filaments flowing across the sides of the huge vortex, while an unusual trend occurring just above Jupiter’s equator.
All photos are taken in high-resolution, representing “spinning” charts of the entire planet and providing different 360-degree images of Jupiter delivered in 4K HD. These Hubble shots are the best product of NASA’s space program beyond Earth’s orbit and are a yearly sequence of “portraits” of all outer planets in our solar system, according to a press release.
A group of US astronomers presented a pair of Jupiter maps including various photos taken by one of Hubble’s high quality digital cameras. The pictures offer a realistic sense of the high speed winds present in Jupiter’s atmosphere by rendering back-to-back movements of this planet. These results are specified in a document released in American astrophysical publications.
When we think of Jupiter, its Great Red Spot instantly comes to mind. The recent pictures prove that its huge circular red vortex is constantly shrinking and has taken a more rounded form during the years. The longer axis of the vortex is currently 100 miles shorter than in 2013 and its activity is still in accordance with the long-term findings that Hubble has registered over time.
One stunning discovery was a massive wave moving just near the equator. The wave has been seen only once by astronomers during all these years and previous photos of it were taken by Voyager 2, but the wave was hardly noticeable. The newest observation of this wave, which appears to be just like the baroclinic waves that are seen in our planet’s atmosphere, was made in an area shaped by cyclones and anticyclones clashes.
New photos of Uranus and Neptune have also been taken, and identical maps of these planets will be available to the scientific community, while those of Saturn may be included to the sequence in the next months. The ultimate map of a planet in our solar system would be that of Pluto, whose close images have amazed the whole world just a few months ago.
The selection of charts that is currently developed will eventually not only help researchers to understand the activities of these massive planets and their satellites, but will also lead the studies of planets being found orbiting around other stars.
Image source: Dailygalaxy