The Hubble Space Telescope captured this stunningly beautiful image of Jupiter in August, 2020, from a distance of 406 million miles from Earth.
Jupiter was closest to us this year on July 15, a couple of days after Earth swept between Jupiter and the sun, as we do once each year. Still, in August, Jupiter and Earth were relatively close, in part accounting for the clarity of this image, which shows Jupiter’s icy moon Europa (sixth-closest of the planet’s 79 known moons) as well as some famous storms in Jupiter’s dense atmosphere.
First, notice Europa to the left of the planet. It’s the smallest of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons and is thought to have an ocean beneath its surface, possibly holding the ingredients for life.
Now, look at the planet itself. You probably know that the bands we see aren’t on the planet’s surface; instead, when we look at Jupiter, we’re seeing only the upper layers of its clouds. The image shows the Great Red Spot, a gigantic storm larger in diameter than our entire Earth, rolling counterclockwise in the atmosphere above Jupiter’s southern hemisphere.
Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 9,800 miles across, big enough to swallow Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but the reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.
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Jupiter, Hubble Space Telescope, Earth, Europe, Telescope
World news – GB – Stunningly beautiful image of Jupiter