Friday, May 21, 2010
You may have heard the story of the Zebra who lost his stripes, but planet Jupiter losing it's stripes??? In a development that has transformed the appearance of the solar system's largest planet, one of Jupiter's two main cloud belts has completely disappeared. According to planetary scientist Glenn Orton of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab "We're monitoring the situation closely and do not yet fully understand what's going on." Known to astronomers as the South Equatorial Belt (SEB), the brown stripe/band is 2 times the size of Earth at it's width and more than twenty times as long. This has changed the look of Jupiter as the stripe could be seen across half the solar system. Even with binoculars the stripe is noticeable and to those in the know Jupiter's signature appearance has always included two broad equatorial belts. For more information check this LINK.