AUG 10, 2019 7:39 AM PDT

Say Hello to Hubble's Latest Portrait of Jupiter

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA takes advantage of the Hubble Space Telescope’s powerful imaging capabilities to photograph both neighboring and distant objects in space, and sometimes that includes the very planets that reside right here in our immediate solar system.

During one of Hubble’s most recent photographing sprees, it turned its attention to none other than our solar system’s largest planet: Jupiter. Its goal? – To capture the planet’s stunning atmospheric features and to shed more light on the status of Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot.

Hubble's latest image of Jupiter, captured June 27.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley)

The Hubble Space Telescope snagged the above image of Jupiter on June 27th of this year, and while it probably looks no different than any other Jupiter-centric photograph taken by Hubble in recent years, you may want to turn your attention to the planet’s Great Red Spot and think again.

Related: Does Jupiter's Great Red Spot heat up other parts of Jupiter's atmosphere?

Measuring almost the same diameter as the planet Earth itself, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking, and planetary scientists aren’t sure why. Despite knowing about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot since at least the 17th Century, we still know very little about it. Although the Great Red Spot looks eerily similar to a hurricane-like storm here on Earth, it’s said to possess very different characteristics.

No Earthly hurricane has ever grown close to the size of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, much less existed for as long as the latter. Additionally, the mechanisms behind the Great Red Spot are different than any hurricane on Earth because of the polarizing differences in Jupiter’s atmospheric composition.

Related: This is Juno's first close-up photograph of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Hubble’s latest photograph also showcases Jupiter’s colorful parallel-traveling cloud bands, which whip across the planet’s atmosphere in opposite directions at differing latitudes, and travel at up to 650 kilometers per hour as they do so. The beauty of these clouds speaks to Jupiter’s particularly captivating chemical composition, and underscore how we still have much to learn about its properties.

The Hubble Space Telescope will continue to capture images of Jupiter as the years go on with the hope of better understanding Jupiter’s atmospheric processes and the Great Red Spot. Perhaps Hubble will get a little help from the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope when it finally launches.

Source: ESA/Hubble Space Telescope

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 20, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Develop Novel Technique to Locate Baby Planets
SEP 20, 2022
Astronomers Develop Novel Technique to Locate Baby Planets
In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team of researchers have created a no ...
SEP 28, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Is An Ancient Moon Responsible for Saturn's Rings?
SEP 28, 2022
Is An Ancient Moon Responsible for Saturn's Rings?
In a recent study published in Science, a team of researchers led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggest t ...
OCT 06, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Geologic Layering Responsible for "Watery" Reflections on Mars
OCT 06, 2022
Geologic Layering Responsible for "Watery" Reflections on Mars
In a recent study published in Nature Astronomy, a team of researchers from Cornell University examined bright spots ben ...
OCT 11, 2022
Space & Astronomy
'The Life of Her Mind' Episode 2: Dr. Alyssa Rhoden
OCT 11, 2022
'The Life of Her Mind' Episode 2: Dr. Alyssa Rhoden
The Life of Her Mind is dedicated to learning about how these women think — how they think about their careers, di ...
NOV 14, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Dwarf Galaxy's Black Hole Revealed Through Star's Demise
NOV 14, 2022
Dwarf Galaxy's Black Hole Revealed Through Star's Demise
In a recent study published in Nature Astronomy, an international team of researchers led by the University of Copenhage ...
DEC 02, 2022
Space & Astronomy
The First Exoplanet Atmosphere Observed by JWST
DEC 02, 2022
The First Exoplanet Atmosphere Observed by JWST
Unprecedented discoveries regarding exoplanet atmospheres have just been detailed in a series of new papers (links provi ...
Loading Comments...