A New Light on Jupiter

Two of our gas giants in solar system are certainly not keeping a low profile recently. Saturn is experiencing storms, while the long-lost south equatorial belt of Jupiter is finally returning to our sight after having disappeared for almost a year. What caused Jupiter’s south equatorial belt to fade? Scientists are trying to find out the answer, and it seems that the alternation of wind pattern is the cause of the disappearance of south equatorial belt. However, we still need the supportive data of the movement of Jupiter’s atmosphere in order to verify this theory. The main challenge of obtaining the information is in procuring high-resolution pictures of Jupiter’s thermal radiation. Normally, scientists lock their telescope to the target through projecting an artificial guide star in Earth’s atmosphere using a powerful laser, very near to Jupiter’s position. However, the brightness of Jupiter is so high that the artificial star would be drowned in the light of Jupiter. Guess how scientist tackled this problem? They took advantage of the Jupiter’s moon Europa which is close enough to Jupiter. With the aid of Europa, they finally got high-resolution pictures of Jupiter. Check out the following link to see what scientists discovered about Jupiter’s south equatorial belt.

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