Oops! Jupiter Has Lost A Stripe Again!


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Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar system is recognizable by its two distinct red strips - One in the Southern Hemisphere and the other in the Northern. However, recent photographs show that the lower strip also known as the Southern Equatorial belt, seems to have disappeared and, this is not the first time it has happened!

According to the experts, the band was very much present three months ago, just before the planet disappeared behind the sun, while in orbit. When it emerged a few weeks ago, the stripe had disappeared.

This phenomenon has been observed by space watchers every 10 -15 years and while nobody knows for sure why it happens experts have a theory.

Jupiter is a huge ball of gas and liquid. Its surface comprises of layers of red, brown, yellow and white clouds. The darker, denser clouds made of chemicals like Sulfur and Phosphorous, gravitate toward the bottom, while the lighter fluffier white clouds, formed from crystals of frozen ammonia, float on top.

Some scientists believe that the prominent two 'stripes' are merely areas where the white clouds are missing, revealing the reddish clouds underneath. Therefore, when one of the stripes 'disappears', it is only because it has been covered up by the lighter white clouds.

While it is not clear why this occurs only in the Southern Hemisphere and so rarely, one thing is for certain - The largest planet in our universe will find its missing stripe sooner or later! Meanwhile earthlings may get a rare opportunity to see (with a telescope) the one-striped Jupiter on September 24th, when it is as its closest distance to Earth.

source:slashdot.com, dailynews.co.uk

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  • loveover 5 years
    • YouTube-Girlalmost 6 years
      I don't think Jupiter loses stripes
      • ctag07
        ctag07almost 6 years
        Jupiter :( Stop losing spot- I mean lines- I mean stripes
        • Davidalmost 6 years
          I am in 6th grade and I think there is an obvious reason why Jupiter lost its stripe because it seems that Jupiter is turned around if you look closely in June of 2009 Jupiter's top stripe of Jupiter seems to be not as clear and thinner than the picture taken in may of 2010 and because the pictures were taken in 2 different months Jupiter may have turned enough so you could not see the storm or the dot
          • hiiiiialmost 6 years
            cant believe jupitier is so forgetfull
            • hiiiiialmost 6 years
              this is sooooooooo cool
              • Abdullahalmost 6 years
                • Frenchyalmost 6 years
                  Wow there's a Solar System in a Solar System so cool.... scientist found a planet that has life
                  • ailanysabout 7 years
                    • tmo
                      tmoabout 7 years
                      I am doing a science project about Jupiter!