SPACE STATION FLYBYS: Sky watchers in Europe and North America are in for a treat. For the next few days, the International Space Station will be orbiting over the two continents, appearing brightly in the morning and evening sky. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker to find out when to look.
images: from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas
SHREDDED STORM: (Updated) On July 1st, a Mars-sized storm on Jupiter called the "Little Red Spot" (LRS) ran into two of its siblings: the Great Red Spot and Oval BA. Caught between the two larger storms, the Little Red Spot was torn apart. These "before and after" shots come from the Hubble Space Telescope:
One can only imagine the turmoil and shredding action that took place on July 1st when the Little Red Spot tried to squeeze itself between the other two storms, because Hubble wasn't looking when it happened; the great telescope was scheduled to observe something else that day. Nevertheless, Hubble's image of the aftermath reveals something very interesting. John Rogers, director of the Jupiter Section of the British Astronomical Association, explains:
"The July 8th Hubble image is very beautiful and informative, clearly showing the re-emerging LRS (gray arrow) at the east end of the GRS," says Rogers. "A bright ribbon from it forms a 360-deg spiral into the GRS, and I believe this is the complete remnant of the LRS, as shown in a montage I made with images from Miyazaki and other amateurs. It is amazing that the Little Red Spot has remained continuous while being stretched into a loop all the way round the GRS!"