We experience changing weather here on Earth. One day it’s overcast, and then the next day has clear skies. Same goes for the other planets, it just happens on different timescales. The Hubble Space Telescope has been watching how the planet Jupiter’s weather transforms over time – it happens surprisingly quickly.
The latest photographs released from Hubble show two pictures, before and after. The first picture was captured on March 25, and then the second was snapped on June 5. Between this period, entire bands on the planet have changed colour.
Regions where the atmosphere is rising are called “zones”; where the atmosphere is falling are called “belts”. During this 3+ month period, many of these zones have transformed into belts, and vice versa.
Astronomers have seen these transformations before with ground-based observatories, but never with such detail. These Hubble images will help astronomers better predict atmospheric changes on Jupiter. And perhaps even help explain how massive storms like the Great Red Spot can form.