Hubble Snaps New Image of Jupiter
17 september 2020
Jupiter is made up of gasses that form cloudy belts that can even be seen with a small telescope. This gas giant is also seen by larger telescopes, like the Hubble Space Telescope, which has captured a beautiful new snapshot of this gas giant!
A Windy Weather Report
This latest image of Jupiter was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope on 25 August 2020.
Hubble’s sharp view of Jupiter is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet’s violent atmosphere.
For example, the image has revealed a new storm brewing. In the top half of the planet, there is a white stretched out storm that looks like a ghost moving across the planet. This storm is moving at 550 kilometers per hour - that’s about three times as fast as a Tornado!
The Moon Europa
The new image also shows a small dot to the left of Jupiter - this is the moon Europa!
This icy moon is believed to be home to a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust. This makes it a destination of interest for researchers who think we may one day find signs of life in these oceans!
The Great Red Spot
The gas giant Jupiter is home to the famous Great Red Spot - which is clearly visible in this new image. The storm is so big that it could swallow the Earth!
The Great Red Spot’s storm has been raging for over 150 years. The Hubble Space Telescope has watched the storm for many years and has noticed that it is getting smaller. This image also suggests that the storm is still shrinking, but astronomers don’t know why. You can read more about this mystery in this Space Scoop from 2019.
The Hubble Space Telescope will continue to watch Jupiter to learn more about its mysterious Great Red Spot and its other storms.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley) and the OPAL team