March 18th, 2008

Jupiter

Astro-image of the Day: massive storms erupt in the clouds of Jupiter

Here's a newly released photo of Jupiter showing bright plumes blazing away in the infrared. They are storms that originated 60 miles deep, launching ammonia ice and water in hot sprays 20 miles above the cloud-tops. Note the streaky look: Where they erupted, Jupiter's jet stream moves 375 miles per hour.

Click the image to see the story.

All this drama was observed with "unprecedented resolution using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, and telescopes in the Canary Islands (Spain). A network of smaller telescopes around the world also supported these observations."

One of the coolest things about planetary astronomy is that you can watch things change on a daily basis - and in great detail.

Chris