The spot, observed by South African Clyde Foster in May, earned its name: Clyde’s Spot
Clyde Foster, an amateur astronomer from South Africa, found a new spot in Jupiter’s atmosphere as he surveyed the planet with his telescope on the morning of May 31. The point, which was not observed by astronomers in Australia a few hours earlier, was a new storm – not far from the Great Red Spot.
Two days later, the Juno spacecraft made its 27th flyover of Jupiter, and 45,000 kilometers above the gas giant’s clouds confirmed the discovery of the South African. The atmospheric phenomenon was named after its discoverer: Clyde’s Spot, the “Clyde Spot”.
According to NASA, the oval patch is an erupting plume above the upper cloud layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere. These phenomena happen with a certain frequency in this latitude band of the planet, known as the Southern Temperate Belt.
Jupiter, as captured by the Foster telescope, and the approximate trajectory of the Juno spacecraft as it approaches the planet, traveling from north to south. Image: Clyde Foster / NASA / Reproduction
The space agency itself encourages enthusiasts to “play” with the images sent by Juno. NASA has made available a page where raw images of Jupiter are published, which users can download and do their own image processing. “We would like to see everything from simple cuts in an image to the highlight of a specific atmospheric feature, or the addition of color enhancements, collages and advanced color reconstruction,” says the agency.
These photos illustrated studies on the Juno and Jupiter mission. “We are writing articles for scientific journals and using their contributions – always with the appropriate attribution, of course. Some creations are works of art and we are working on ways to show them as such,” adds NASA.
The Juno spacecraft was launched in August 2011, with plans to run for 7 years. Despite this, it should remain on a mission until 2021. The probe’s main objective is to study the origin of Jupiter, and consequently the Solar System.
Nasa Astronomy Jupiter Solar system Science & Space Juno