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NEWS Last Update:  2007/Oct/03

IMPORTANT NOTE: This site is the OLD version of the IOPW Atmospheres Node.

The site has moved to http://www.ajax.ehu.es/iopw/.

Please check the new webpage instead of the current site. This webpage is accesible here for archive purposes only.

The International Outer Planets Watch (IOPW) is an informal organization of astronomers and planetary scientists who are interested in the study of the Solar System's giant planets, their atmospheres, satellites, rings, magnetospheres, aurorae, and other phenomena. For this purpose, the International Outer Planets Watch has a Steering Committee and six discipline groups.

The Atmosphere Discipline of the IOPW is devoted to coordinate and encourage observations of the atmospheres of the giant planets and their satellites, from the Earth and from space, with an emphasis on time-variable phenomena.

The Atmosphere Discipline node maintains a database of observations of the Giant Planets mainly contributed by amateur astronomers. The current database is called PVOL2 (Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory) and contains observations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune from the year 2000 onwards. Please use the "PVOL database, images and files accesible on the left menu on this website are no longer maintained.

Oval BA: Inminent interaction and possible merger with WO - 15 June 2010

Images by different observers show BA is interacting with and adjacent WO. Observers are encouraged to get images of the oval interaction for the next few days. The interaction may lead to many phenomena, oval fussion or circulation of the smaller WO around BA and/or partial destruction of the oval. Every Jupiter rotation will show different phases of the interaction for the next days. Observations in the visible range but also in the 890 nm methane absorption band and/or UV (both sensitive to the atmospheric higher layers) will be very useful to understand the interaction of large vortices on Jupiter at different atmospheric heights.

These are ephemeris of the transit of both ovals in Jupiter central meridian generated with WinJupos by J.M. Gómez.

    Date        UT
2010 Jun 17  | 06:21
2010 Jun 17  | 16:17
2010 Jun 18  | 02:12
2010 Jun 18  | 12:08
2010 Jun 18  | 22:03
2010 Jun 19  | 07:58
2010 Jun 19  | 17:54

2010 Jun 20  | 03:49
2010 Jun 20  | 13:45
2010 Jun 20  | 23:40
2010 Jun 21  | 09:36
2010 Jun 21  | 19:31
2010 Jun 22  | 05:26
2010 Jun 22  | 15:22
2010 Jun 23  | 01:17
2010 Jun 23  | 11:13
2010 Jun 23  | 21:08

2010 Jun 24  | 07:03
2010 Jun 24  | 16:59
2010 Jun 25  | 02:54
2010 Jun 25  | 12:50
2010 Jun 25  | 22:45
2010 Jun 26  | 08:40
2010 Jun 26  | 18:36

2010 Jun 27  | 04:31
2010 Jun 27  | 14:27
2010 Jun 28  | 00:22
2010 Jun 28  | 10:17
2010 Jun 28  | 20:13
2010 Jun 29  | 06:08
2010 Jun 29  | 16:04

2010 Jun 30  | 01:59
2010 Jun 30  | 11:54
2010 Jun 30  | 21:50
Fireball in Jupiter's Atmosphere - 03 June 2010

Images by Anthony Wesley and Christopher Go show a large fireball in Jupiter's atmosphere as a bolide entered Jupiter's atmosphere at approximately 20:31:29 UTC on 03 June 2010. Rests of the impactor can be searched in the atmosphere by obserbing in wavelengths sensitive to the upper atmosphere: 890 nm (methane band filters) and in the ultraviolet. There was no observable cloud of debris in wavelengths the night of the impact but it might be possible to find it in 890 nm and ultraviolet light.

The impactor site (Longitude: 160º System III, Planetographic latitude=-16.5º) showed no debris in later images by different observers.

Oval BA possible merger with WO 24 May 2010
Images by Christopher Go from Philippines show the large oval BA close to an adjacent WO. An inminent collision between both ovals seem probable since the cyclonic spot that was between both ovals preventing them from a close in interation had dissappeared on the last observations. Observations in the visible range but also in the 890 nm methane absorption band and/or UV (both sensitive to the atmospheric higher layers) will be very useful to understand the interaction of large vortices on Jupiter at different atmospheric heights.

Changes in Jupiter's Belts: SEB Fade (April-May 2010)
The South Equatorial Belt (SEB) has entered into a fade state with white clouds in the belt indistinguishable from the adjacent zones. The SEB has faded while Jupiter was in conjunction. The new appearance of the SEB has only been observed after mid April 2010. At the same time the North Equatorial Belt has grown in latitude to northern latitudes. Changes in the SEB happen cyclically. The SEB can remain in its fade state for 1-3 years but generally regains its Belt appearance after the onset of a disturbance. The last time this cycle was observed was in 1993 and the possibilities of studying this one in detail are much better now with CCDs available to ground-based observers.

We encourage a continuing survey of these changes in Jupiter belt. The new observations will help to understand one of the most remarkable time variable phenomena in Jovian meteorology.
Technical References:
Sanchez Lavega et al., The South Equatorial Belt of Jupiter, I : Its life cycle, Icarus, 121, 1-17 (1996).
Sanchez Lavega et al., The South Equatorial Belt of Jupiter, II: The onset and development of the 1993 disturbance, Icarus, 121, 18-29 (1996).

Stormy season on Saturn (April-May 2010)
The storm alley in Saturn's tropical south latitudes is showing an outburst of storm activity. Images from different observers show an active storm system from early march and active at least till May 15th. A selection of images and ephemeris for the observation of this storm have been compiled by Marc Delcroix from the Societe Astronomique Francaise. Images obtained by the Cassini spacecraft show lightning activity in this storm and electrostatic discharges associated with the lightning.

BDIP: Historical database of planet images online again (Updated March 2010)
The historical database of planet images hosted at the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon is accesible online. This is a database of approximately 8400 photographs of Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, acquired between 1890 and 1977, and kept at LESIA in the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon. Follow this link to BDIP (Base de Donneéss d'Images Planétaires)

Past news are available here.

Atmosphere node information

Discipline Leader:
Ricardo Hueso Alonso

Grupo de Ciencias Planetarias
Escuela Superior de Ingenieros
Universidad del Pais Vasco
Alameda Urquijo s/n
48013 BILBAO (Spain)

Tel: (34) 946 014 262
Fax: (34) 946 014 178
  Web Site Manager:
Jon J. Legarreta Etxagibel

Grupo de Ciencias Planetarias
Universidad del Pais Vasco
Plaza La Casilla 3
48012 BILBAO (Basque Country)

Tel: (34) 946 014 357
Fax: (34) 946 014 300

 Send your images by mail to the IOPW ().   Occasionally we will send you bulletins on Jupiter or Saturn observations.

 Our logo is a composition of images from Voyager and Hubble Space Telescope.

International Outer Planets Watch - Atmosphere Discipline
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Discipline Leader
Web Site Manager
Web Page Designer
Ricardo Hueso Alonso
Jon J. Legarreta Etxagibel
Irma T. Flores Mendoza
 This site is hosted by the
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Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea