Thursday, January 30, 2014

A study of 'Mickey's head' on Jupiter

Reports have been submitted to ALPO concerning a curious pattern of white spots on the southern hemisphere of Jupiter, which resemble Mickey’s head. I was able to image this pattern last 22nd January, and according to my calculations, it was located between latitude -30 and -40 degrees (SYS I). Below is the pattern encircled in orange.

South is at top.

Similar images have been obtained by Christoph Pellier, Chris Go, and other observers.

Based on the analysis made of the data I acquired on January 22nd, the pattern consists of two white spots located in the southern temperate latitudes of Jupiter, while the middle one ("the head") is located at 240 degrees longitude (SYS I) and at a slightly higher latitude than the other two ovals.

Cylindrical projection of Jupiter image taken using IR filter on January 22nd, 2014

According to the Planetary Astronomy (which also published such an observation), the two ears are anticyclones in the SSTB, while the central oval is cyclonic in nature. This low-pressure cell can take different forms, from an oval cell to a more elongated structure. The current cyclonic one is very defined and somewhat brighter than usual.

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