activity in Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt
Jupiter gets higher in the pre-dawn sky, observers will be interested to know
that a new mid-SEB outbreak of white spots has started, the first since autumn,
was discovered and tracked by Hideo Einaga (Japan), and his images were placed
on the ALPO-Japan web site:
A selection of these images is presented below:
to our Japanese colleagues for providing them.)
first imaged the new outbreak as a single bright white spot on Dec.18.
It was probably no more than a few days old on that date.
Since then it has produced more white spots, spreading to lower
longitude, as is typical. The
source and f. end is at L2 = 350.
was already a similar outbreak at lower longitude, which had greatly extended
the mid-SEB disturbance that follows the GRS; these outbreaks f. the GRS occur
about once a year. According to
images on the ALPO-Japan web site, this one started during solar conjunction and
had its f. end near L2 = 180 (Dec.9, T. Olivetti in Thailand), now extending to
L2 = 195 (Dec.24 and Jan.8, Einaga).
outbreaks may continue for weeks or months.
They should be visible even with modest telescopes, and could be
spectacular at high resolution . The
white spots in them are clusters of thunderstorms. Observations are encouraged.