Jupiter in 2000/2001 Part I:  Visible wavelengths

Jupiter during the Cassini encounter

John Rogers, Hans-Joerg Mettig, Damian Peach, & Michael Foulkes



The main changes on Jupiter in 2000 were the disappearance of the dark band and festoons in the Equatorial Zone, and the broadening of the North Equatorial Belt (NEB) into the North Tropical Zone. While dark projections on southern NEB diminished in number, irregular projections from northern NEB eventually constituted a classical expansion event which was complete by the start of 2001, and the expanded belt was pockmarked with dark 'barges' and white ovals.

Most of the major spots had persisted from the previous apparition, especially anticyclonic ovals, and their drifts, circulations, and appearances were largely unchanged. These included not only the Great Red Spot and a brown ring in the S. Tropical domain, but also anticyclonic white ovals in almost every other domain. Some of these, in latitudes ranging from the South Polar region to the N.N. Temperate region, apparently persisted between apparitions in spite of showing large and sudden changes in their drift rates.

Outbreaks of dark spots were continuing in the SEBs, NTBs, and NNTBs jetstreams.  In addition, we detected several spots moving in the SSTBn jetstream, which has rarely been detected from Earth, and one each in the NTBn, NNTBn, and N5TBs jetstreams, which have never previously been detected from Earth.

The highlight of the apparition was the Cassini spacecraft flyby.  Cassini images revealed details of all the spots and circulations that we recorded; examples are presented in an Appendix.  Observations at non-visible wavelengths, from amateur and professional observers and from Cassini, will be presented in Parts II and III of this report.




General description

Local features and drifts

Appendix:  A Cassini atlas of Jupiter

In this Appendix we show examples of the Cassini imagery to give detailed views of the atmospheric features that we have tracked....



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