Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found!!

Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found—11 “normal” outer moons, and one that they’re calling an “oddball.”  This brings Jupiter’s total number of known moons to a whopping 79—the most of any planet in our Solar System.

A team led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard first spotted the moons in the spring of 2017 while they were looking for very distant Solar System objects as part of the hunt for a possible massive planet far beyond Pluto.  

In 2014, this same team found the object with the most-distant known orbit in our Solar System and was the first to realize that an unknown massive planet at the fringes of our Solar System, far beyond Pluto, could explain the similarity of the orbits of several small extremely distant objects. This putative planet is now sometimes popularly called Planet X or Planet Nine.  University of Hawaii’s Dave Tholen and Northern Arizona University’s Chad Trujillo are also part of the planet search team.

“Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant Solar System objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our Solar System,” said Sheppard.

Gareth Williams at the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center used the team’s observations to calculate orbits for the newly found moons. 

“It takes several observations to confirm an object actually orbits around Jupiter,” Williams said. “So, the whole process took a year.”

Nine of the new moons are part of a distant outer swarm of moons that orbit it in the retrograde, or opposite direction of Jupiter’s spin rotation.  These distant retrograde moons are grouped into at least three distinct orbital groupings and are thought to be the remnants of three once-larger parent bodies that broke apart during collisions with asteroids, comets, or other moons. The newly discovered retrograde moons take about two years to orbit Jupiter.

Two of the new discoveries are part of a closer, inner group of moons that orbit in the prograde, or same direction as the planet’s rotation. These inner prograde moons all have similar orbital distances and angles of inclinations around Jupiter and so are thought to also be fragments of a larger moon that was broken apart. These two newly discovered moons take a little less than a year to travel around Jupiter.

 

Source : https://carnegiescience.edu/news/dozen-new-moons-jupiter-discovered-including-one-%E2%80%9Coddball%E2%80%9D

Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found—11 “normal” outer moons, and one that they’re calling an “oddball.”  This brings Jupiter’s total number of known moons to a whopping 79—the most of any planet in our Solar System. A team led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard first spotted the moons Continue Reading

How Juno’s Breathtaking Jupiter Images Are Made

How Juno’s Breathtaking Jupiter Images Are Made

Jupiter’s sandy swirls and blue-hued poles are visible even from Earth. But the Juno spacecraft’s crisp and colourful images begin as warped and dull raw files. The fantastic finished visuals are the result of enthusiastic amateur astronomers, software developers, and artists communicating over message boards. They work together to turn the raw images into accurate art for the space-loving public.

“Image processing is a creative process,” visual artist Seán Doran, who has made a number of the most familiar Jovian images, told Gizmodo. “Every Juno picture is unique and demands a slightly modified approach for each.”

The Juno spacecraft is a basketball court-sized, turbine-shaped probe that left Earth in 2011, flew by again in 2013 for a gravitational assist, and arrived at Jupiter in 2016. Its many instruments have demonstrated that Jupiter is far stranger than astronomers ever could have imagined. But one of its instruments, JunoCam, isn’t really intended for scientists. It’s for amateurs like us.

More: gizmodo.com/how-junos-breathtaking-jupiter-images-are-made-1825369932

How Juno’s Breathtaking Jupiter Images Are Made Jupiter’s sandy swirls and blue-hued poles are visible even from Earth. But the Juno spacecraft’s crisp and colourful images begin as warped and dull raw files. The fantastic finished visuals are the result of enthusiastic amateur astronomers, software developers, and artists communicating over Continue Reading

Juno reveals Jupiter’s interior in unprecedented detail

Jupiter’s interior has been revealed in unprecedented detail in observations by Nasa’s Juno spacecraft that show it to be as strange and turbulent as the planet’s surface.

Despite extensive studies of Jupiter’s surface, including its distinctive dark and light bands and “great red spot”, little had previously been known about what lies at the interior of the solar system’s largest planet.

The new findings, based on high-precision gravitational measurements, show that Jupiter’s iconic striped bands, caused by immensely powerful winds, extend to a depth of about 3,000km below the surface. The mission has also produced a partial answer to the question of whether the planet has a core, showing that the inner 96% of the planet rotates “as a solid body”, even though technically it is composed of an extraordinarily dense mixture of hydrogen and helium gas.

Nasa spacecraft reveals Jupiter’s interior in unprecedented detail

Juno mission paints dramatic picture of the turbulence within the solar system’s largest planet

Source: www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/07/nasa-spacecraft-reveals-jupiters-interior-in-unprecedented-detail

Jupiter’s interior has been revealed in unprecedented detail in observations by Nasa’s Juno spacecraft that show it to be as strange and turbulent as the planet’s surface. Despite extensive studies of Jupiter’s surface, including its distinctive dark and light bands and “great red spot”, little had previously been known about Continue Reading

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot May Soon Disappear…

Or maybe not…either way – Jupiter imaging season is upon us.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot May Soon Disappear…

Scientists aren’t quite sure what will happen to the shrinking mega-storm.

Aside from its size, the planet Jupiter is perhaps best known for the roiling vermilion tempest that swirls south of its equator. The storm, which is big enough to comfortably swallow Earth, is appropriately (if not creatively) known as Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

The Great Red Spot has been a fixture of Jupiter’s cloudy visage for centuries and is among the most recognizable features in the solar system. But it won’t always be there. In fact, the Great Red Spot is shrinking, and recently, news stories reported that it could vanish within the next 10 or 20 years.

Source: news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/jupiter-great-red-spot-disappear-10-years-space-science-spd/

Or maybe not…either way – Jupiter imaging season is upon us. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot May Soon Disappear… Scientists aren’t quite sure what will happen to the shrinking mega-storm. Aside from its size, the planet Jupiter is perhaps best known for the roiling vermilion tempest that swirls south of its equator. The Continue Reading

APOD: 2018 February 21 – Jupiter in Infrared from Hubble

Amazing APOD!

 

APOD: 2018 February 21 – Jupiter in Infrared from Hubble

A different astronomy and space science related image is featured each day, along with a brief explanation.

Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180221.html

Amazing APOD!   APOD: 2018 February 21 – Jupiter in Infrared from Hubble A different astronomy and space science related image is featured each day, along with a brief explanation. Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180221.html

Jupiter 2014 Opposition – Biggest, Brightest, Closest For The Year Tonight!

Jupiter 2014 Opposition – Biggest, Brightest, Closest For The Year Tonight!

Today the biggest planet of them all is at opposition to the sun and closest and brightest for the year. You’ve no doubt noticed Jupiter rising in the northeastern sky during late evening twi…

Source: astrobob.areavoices.com/2014/01/05/jupiter-2014-opposition-biggest-brightest-closest-for-the-year-tonight/

Jupiter 2014 Opposition – Biggest, Brightest, Closest For The Year Tonight! Today the biggest planet of them all is at opposition to the sun and closest and brightest for the year. You’ve no doubt noticed Jupiter rising in the northeastern sky during late evening twi… Source: astrobob.areavoices.com/2014/01/05/jupiter-2014-opposition-biggest-brightest-closest-for-the-year-tonight/