Sunday, May 16, 2010

Article Link: "New Pictures Show Jupiter Is Missing a Stripe"

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New Pictures Show Jupiter Is Missing a Stripe


AOL News (May 13) -- New pictures of Jupiter show that a huge band of dark clouds that normally surrounds the giant planet has vanished.

The planet's appearance usually is dominated by two dark bands in its atmosphere -- one in the north and another in the south -- along with the Giant Red Spot, an enormous storm that is more than twice the size of Earth.

All three were visible at the end of last year before the planet went behind the sun. When it re-emerged last month, new pictures from Australian astronomer Anthony Wesley showed the southern cloud band was nowhere to be seen.

This is not the first time the southern band has gone missing. It vanished in the 1990s and was also absent in 1973 when NASA took its first close-up pictures of the planet, according to New Scientist.

Wesley is already looking forward to seeing the southern band return, an event he hopes will happen this year or next.

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