Hubble's 4K images prove Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking

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Mariella Moon
October 13, 2015 9:51 PM
In this article: hubble, jupiter, nasa, space
Hubble's 4K images prove Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking

NASA's Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy program, which aims to observe the outer planets every year using Hubble, has released its first (UltraHD) maps and images. The subject? Jupiter. While you're most likely familiar with the gas giant's distinct looks, these new high-res images show just how much it has changed since the last time it was captured on cam. According to the space agency, the ancient storm has become more circular and more orange than red. There's also a wispy filament right in the heart of the spot, dancing and undulating as the storm continues to rotate.

In addition, Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has captured an elusive wave in the planet's North Equatorial Belt, which was last spotted by the Voyager 2 decades ago. NASA says the program has already taken (presumably high-def) photos of Neptune and Uranus for this year, as well, though we'd have a wait a while longer for those images. When the program adds Saturn to the list -- soon, according to the agency -- it will be able to properly document all outer planets' changes throughout the years.

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