Hubble eyes Jupiter’s second red spot

Say hello to Red Jr. These Hubble Space Telescope images, released last week, are the sharpest views yet of a second red storm high in Jupiter’s atmosphere. About half the diameter of the planet’s venerable Great Red Spot (right of box in left image), the newer storm was white when it arose 6 years ago from the merger of three oval storms first seen in the 1930s.

I. De Pater, P. Marcus, et al., NASA; A. Simon-Miller, G. Orton, N. Chanover, et al., NASA

By this February, the disturbance had turned red (SN: 4/8/06, p. 222:Available to subscribers at Another red spot, by Jove). The planetwide portrait is a false-color composite of visible-light and near-infrared images. It depicts both the red spots and other high-altitude features in orange hues. The close-up, color-enhanced Hubble picture (right), taken in blue and red light only, shows that some pale clouds lie at the center of the new red spot.

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