Jupiter, its enticing moon Europa star in new Hubble photo

Katie Ramirez
September 19, 2020

A new image of Jupiter above, our solar system's largest planet -an enormous spinning colorful sphere of methane and ammonia so large it could easily swallow all the other planets- taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on August 25, 2020, was captured when the planet and its hypothetical floating inhabitants was 406 million miles from Earth.

The new image shows that the storm's core is darkening, which could mean Red Spot Junior is going to turn red again like its older cousin - the Giant Red Spot. The tiny new image is Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

One of the stormy weather systems is traveling around the planet at an incredible 350 miles per hour. This single plume erupted on 18 August 2020 and another has since appeared.

Unlike other common storms in this region, this particular disturbance appears to have more structure behind it than observed in the past storms.

Over the most recent couple of decades, the Great Red Spot seems to have been contracting, a secret that has been confounding researchers, however it's as yet huge; at present, it estimates 15,800 kilometers (9,818 miles) over. Trailing behind the plume are small, counterclockwise dark clumps also not seen in the past, which could mean the beginning of a longer-lasting northern hemisphere spot, perhaps to rival the legendary Great Red Spot that dominates the southern hemisphere.

Researchers are noticing that another feature has changed: the Oval BA, nicknamed by astronomers as Red Spot Jr., which appears just below the Great Red Spot in this image.

Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot, rolling counterclockwise in the planet's southern hemisphere, is plowing into the clouds ahead of it, forming a cascade of white and beige ribbons. The reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.

The new image also provides an update on Oval BA, known as Red Spot Jr.

Hubble Jupiter Different Colors

NASA said, "This could imply that Red Spot Jr.is switching back to a color more similar to his cousin".

Left of the image is Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter which is believed may harbour microbial life in its liquid oceans. NASA intends to launch a rocket, the Europa Clipper, in the not so distant future to check whether conditions there may be ready forever.

Hubble also captured a new multiwavelength observation in ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared light of Jupiter.

The Hubble Jupiter image highlights the planet's most famous landmarks.

A second new image reveals more details by combining ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared light into one picture.

These images were taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program (OPAL), a Hubble project to monitor changes in the atmosphere of solar system planets over the years. The effect is most apparent around the equator, where there's a thick band of pale orange clouds circling the planet - visible as a red streak in the composite light image.

Jupiter and its luring moon Europa sparkle in another photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Horse Racing Ireland pay tribute to racing great Pat Smullen
That was not Pat's first major win here in the USA however, he won the Matriarch with Dress to Thrill back in 2002. Nine-times Irish champion jockey and multiple Classic-winning rider Pat Smullen has died at the age of 43 .

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