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Copyright 2009 Starry Mirror



Astronomy From West Virginia


BRIDGEPORT, WV (S-M) - With Jupiter now high in the southern sky after Sunset, we've been watching as some new dark spots have appeared in the planet's southern regions


We first noticed increased activity in the region in early August.  Sometimes, the new spots are almost as dark as a moon shadow.  The image at left shows a moon shadow, and one of the new spots is to the shadow's lower right.  When actually viewed through a telescope, the new spots are much darker.  However, they are not as dark as the collision spot from mid-July was when it first formed.


We sent our image, taken September 03, to the United States Naval Observatory where an astronomer measured the particular spot's latitude and longitude.  The spot is said to be at System II longitude 310, and must have formed sometime in early August.  It appears to be an upwelling of material in the wake of a white oval which is not apparent in our image.  - GW

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The very dark spot is a moon shadow, while the dark atmospheric spot discussed is to the shadow's lower right.  The moon which is casting the shadow is barely visible over the South Equatorial Belt, far to the right of its shadow.  - Glen Ward image