Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2006 July 25
Explanation: Two storms systems larger than Earth are nearly colliding right now on planet Jupiter. No one was sure what would happen, but so far both storms have survived. In the above false-colour infrared image taken last week by the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, the red spots appear white because their cloud tops tower above other clouds. Blue colour represents lower clouds than white, while clouds coloured red are the deepest. The smaller red spot, sometimes called Red Spot Jr. or just Oval BA, turned red earlier this year for reasons unknown. If both Jovian hurricanes continue to survive, they will surely pass near each other again in a few years since they revolve around Jupiter at different rates. Astronomers will continue to monitor Red Spot Jr. closely, however, to see if it will remain red when it rotates away from the larger Great Red Spot.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.