nsucurrent.com April 25, 2018

By Jove! Jupiter extra close, extra bright this week

08 April 2017, 07:24 | Shelley Chandler

Celestial News: See Jupiter at its best

Jupiter To Shine Super-Bright Friday Night, and Here's Why

No special equipment is needed to enjoy this Jovian close-up, a phenomenon astronomers call Jupiter "at opposition" because the planet and the sun are on opposite sides of Earth.

"If you drew a line from the sun to the earth, it would point roughly to Jupiter", said Ron Fevig, an associate professor in the University of North Dakota's department of space studies.

Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have captured a stunning new image of Jupiter showing the giant planet's dynamic atmosphere in glorious detail.

Famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is certainly excited about it! Also visible in the photos is Red Spot Jr.

This April 3, 2016 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter when it was at a distance of about 668 million kilometers (415 million miles) from Earth.

NASA/ESA Hubble telescope took a new image of Jupiter during its opposition on April 3, 2017.

Right now is the very best time to look at Jupiter, as the gas giant is now readily available for telescopic scrutiny through the entire night.

With its enormous and powerful storms and hundreds of smaller vortices, the atmosphere of Jupiter is divided into several distinct, colorful bands, parallel to the equator.

The latest picture provides a sharp glimpse of Jupiter and reveals many features in its dense atmosphere. The new NASA observations regarding the recently collected data were taken at about the same time when the Juno spaceship sent by NASA to orbit around Jupiter reached the closest point to the gas giant. The lighter bands have higher concentrations of frozen ammonia in them, compared with the darker ones, the agencies said. You can spot the planet easily with the naked eye in the east following sunset, and even a small telescope will reveal its most prominent cloud features and largest moons. Since this vortex, which is large enough to engulf three Earths, was first spotted in 1664, scientists have noticed that it has been shrinking. The reason for this is still unknown. Hubble will continue to observe Jupiter in hopes of solving this riddle. Because of its similar appearance but much smaller size it was dubbed "Red Spot Junior". In 2018, the Hubble will turn its focus to Saturn. Image credit: NASA / ESA / A. Simon, Goddard Space Flight Center.

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