News

10.27.15

Hubble Maps Show Jupiter Changes and Prepare for Juno

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Spinning Jupiter and Global Map
Scientists produced new global maps of Jupiter using the Wide Field Camera 3 on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. One color map is shown here, projected onto a globe and as a flat image.

Image credit:
NASA/ESA/GSFC/UCBerkeley/JPL-Caltech/STScI

New maps of Jupiter, produced using images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, provide a detailed window on the giant planet's dynamic features. The views come as the agency prepares for its Juno mission to arrive at Jupiter in a little less than a year.

The maps are the first in a planned series of yearly portraits of the solar system's four giant, outer planets, and are intended help scientists monitor how these worlds change over time.

The Jupiter maps are of particular interest to scientists working on Juno, which will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. "We've been coordinating with professional and amateur astronomers for several years now to collect observations that will help us plan Juno's activities once we arrive at Jupiter. The new Hubble maps are an extraordinarily valuable part of that effort," said Glenn Orton, a co-author on the paper from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Already, the Jupiter images have revealed a rare wave just north of the planet's equator and a unique filamentary feature in the core of the Great Red Spot not seen previously. They also reveal that the red spot continues its shrinking trend of recent years, becoming more circular and changing from red to a paler orange.

The Hubble observation program, called Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL), is led by Amy Simon, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Additional images and full story at:

http://go.nasa.gov/1hCGZQA

The images and related findings are described in a recently published paper in the Astrophysical Journal.

Media Contact

Preston Dyches 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-354-7013
preston.dyches@jpl.nasa.gov

Nancy Neal-Jones / Elizabeth Zubritsky
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039 / 301-614-5438
nancy.n.jones@nasa.gov / elizabeth.a.zubritsky@nasa.gov

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
410-338-4514
villard@stsci.edu 

Members of the media, please contact:

D.C. Agle
Juno Media Relations Representative
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

(818) 393-9011
Dwayne Brown
NASA Public Affairs Officer
NASA Headquarters

(202) 358-1726

Where is Juno now?

Visualize Juno’s journey through space and get up-to-date data sets using NASA's Eyes on the Solar System 3D interactive.