Emily LakdawallaFeb 10, 2012

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

As I've mentioned before, it's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

Well, as Damian Peach shows us, Jupiter's belt has definitely returned, and the clouds are very, very turbulent to the west of the Red Spot, which, to be honest, is really not looking all that red. And OMG look how much detail he resolved on Ganymede! For his most recent photos, check his Facebook page.

Jupiter on February 1, 2012
Jupiter on February 1, 2012 Amateur astrophotographer Damian Peach writes about this amazing photo: "Jupiter on February 1st. Ganymede is in transit with the shadow of Europa cast onto the cloud tops nearby. Bitterly cold easterly winds but very steady conditions kept me out there." Damian Peach

So let's step on out to Saturn, which has been monitored very well lately by Freddy Willems. He's still seeing quite strong effects from the great northern storm (note north is down in this photo, which is more traditional for telescopic images).

Saturn on January 19, 2012
Saturn on January 19, 2012 Freddy Willems

These and a great many other recent awesome astrophotos are available for download from the Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory's website. Check it out! (And I should tip my hat to Jason Major for pointing me to Damian's photo.)

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