Click on image for larger version.

The Big One. About twelve times the diameter of Earth, Jupiter is the most massive planet in the solar system. Its atmosphere (and it has a lot of atmosphere) is mostly hydrogen and helium, giving it the chemical composition of a star. If it was a hundred times more massive, it would be a star, and you would live in a binary system!

All of the features you see on Jupiter are clouds and storms. The large oval cloud is the "Great Red Spot." Without the the aid of a sensitive detector and contrast enhancing processing the GRS looks like the great pale pathetic pink spot with your eye through a telescope (in another words, it is a subtle feature). However, don't let this description deter you from appreciating the magnitude of this Jovian hurricane- it is several times the size of the Earth!

Jupiter orbits the Sun five times further out than Earth, and it is one of the brightest objects in the night sky.


TOP IMAGE: 20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/16.8
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
Philips ToUcam (webcam)

RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/16.8
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Clear = 1.1 seconds
Red = .55 seconds binned 1x1
Green = .55 seconds binned 1x1
Blue = .55 seconds binned 1x1

  • Maximum Entropy sharpening routine (via Maxim/DL) was performed on each color component.
  • Unsharp mask was applied to the final color image.
  • Minimum credit line: (top image) Jeff Hapeman/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
    (bottom image) Jeff and Paul Neumann/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 05/04/2005