Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

January 5, 1999
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A New Jupiter Oval Rotates
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Even Jupiter can do the twist. Large cloud systems on Jupiter rotate, and the newly formed oval pictured above is no different. This new oval formed earlier this year from the collision of two smaller ovals: an occurrence not unlike two large storms merging into one huge hurricane. Even this new swirling storm, however, is small compared to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The above-animated frame dithers between two pictures of the new oval taken roughly an hour apart. The Galileo spacecraft currently orbiting the giant Jovian planet captured the pictures.

Tomorrow's picture: A Butterfly of Stars

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.