Jupiter's Lost Belt is Hiding
Wired Top Stories Download time: Jun 17 2010 8:24 AM ET
New Hubble images reveal what happened to one of Jupiter's main cloud belts: It's hiding behind ammonia clouds.
"Weather forecast for Jupiter's Southern Equatorial Belt: cloudy with a chance of ammonia," planetary scientist Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado said in a press release Wednesday.
The gas giant's characteristic band of dark clouds started fading late last year and had vanished completely by early May, 2010. Images taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on June 7 — just over three days after an unknown object smacked into the planet — found a layer of white ammonia ice crystal clouds. The ammonia clouds float at a higher altitude than the missing brown clouds, obscuring them from view.…
See Wired Top Stories for links to further info.