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May 11, 2020 - Nothing But Clouds

Nothing But Clouds  All we ever see on Jupiter are clouds comprised of different mixtures of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and water, all at different heights. Structures in the atmosphere can persist for years, or even centuries, like the Great Red Spot (a storm three times the size of Earth), or the prominent series of parallel dark bands. These bands, with alternating wind motions, are created by differences in the thickness and height of the ammonia ice clouds; the lighter bands rise higher and have thicker clouds than the darker bands. The bands are separated by winds that can reach speeds of up to 644 km/h (400 mph). Other smaller energetic features, like the white swirls in the regions below the Great Red Spot in this 2017 Hubble image, can appear over the course of several days or weeks.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (NASA/GSFC)

Weekly Calendar

May 11 - 17, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Monday 11

Saturn stationary
Pallas stationary

2009: STS-125 Atlantis launched, fifth and final Hubble servicing mission

Tuesday 12

Jupiter 2° north of Moon
Saturn 3° north of Moon

1930: Adler Planetarium opens, first planetarium in Western Hemisphere

Wednesday 13

Venus stationary

1964: Apollo A-001 launched (Little Joe II test flight)

Thursday 14

Last Qtr Moon 10:03 AM ET
Jupiter stationary
Mars 3° north of Moon

1973: Skylab launched
2009: Herschel and Planck space observatories launched
2010: STS-132 Atlantis launched

Friday 15

1857: Williamina Fleming born
: Sputnik 3 launched
1963: Faith 7 launched, last Mercury program flight
1997: STS-84 Atlantis launched, sixth Mir docking mission
2012: Soyuz TMA-04M launched carrying ISS Expedition 31/32 crew

Saturday 16

Neptune 4° north of Moon

2011: STS-134 Endeavour launched

Sunday 17

Mercury 7° north of Aldebaran

1836: Norman Lockyer born
1974: SMS-1 launched, first geostationary weather satellite

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.