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Mars global storm

2018-06-08

Mars storm Mars is getting closer to its opposition in July just at the right time in its dusty season. After several detections of regional dust storms in the planet a global storm in Mars is on its development stage. Images by J. Rueck, D. Milika and P. Nicholas and D. Peach among other observers show the onset of this new large-scale storm. Orbiters around Mars are following the extension and growth of the current storm. A report from the MARCI instrument on the MRO mission is available here.

The image on the right compiled by Agustin Sanchez Lavega shows a comparison of amateur observations with data from the MARCI instrument on Mars Recoinnassance Orbiter.

We encourage all observers to image this Mars dust storm. The five most recent planetary storms detected in Mars occurred in 1977, 1982, 1994, 2001 and 2007. Typical global storms on Mars can develop and lasts over time-scales of a month or longer.

Saturn's Equatorial Storm

2018-04-22

Saturn continues to display interesting atmospheric activity to the reach of amateur equipment. An equatorial bright storm with two sides and located at planetographic latitude +6.0 has been observed by several observers since February and notably over April. The feature is probably the same equatorial bright feature observed since 2014 and has been object of recent scientific research(Sanchez-Lavega et al., Nature Communications, 2016).

Here are ephemeris of its transits over Saturn's CM using System I. Note that besides the prominent Equatorial and polar storms some other repeated features are observed also in the planet at latitudes +20 to +60.

WinJUPOS 10.2.2 (Saturn), C.M. transit times, 2018/05/16  16:41
Object longitude: L1 = 348,4° -  3,8516°/d * (T - 2018 Apr 01,5)
Time interval: 2018 Apr 01,0 ... 2018 Jun 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Apr 01   02:58 ( 350°)   13:10 ( 348°)   23:21 ( 347°)
2018 Apr 02   09:32 ( 345°)   19:43 ( 343°)
2018 Apr 03   05:54 ( 342°)   16:05 ( 340°)
2018 Apr 04   02:17 ( 339°)   12:28 ( 337°)   22:39 ( 335°)
2018 Apr 05   08:50 ( 333°)   19:01 ( 332°)
2018 Apr 06   05:12 ( 330°)   15:24 ( 329°)
2018 Apr 07   01:35 ( 327°)   11:46 ( 325°)   21:57 ( 324°)
2018 Apr 08   08:08 ( 322°)   18:19 ( 320°)
2018 Apr 09   04:31 ( 319°)   14:42 ( 317°)
2018 Apr 10   00:53 ( 316°)   11:04 ( 314°)   21:15 ( 312°)
2018 Apr 11   07:26 ( 310°)   17:38 ( 309°)
2018 Apr 12   03:49 ( 308°)   14:00 ( 306°)
2018 Apr 13   00:11 ( 304°)   10:22 ( 302°)   20:33 ( 301°)
2018 Apr 14   06:45 ( 299°)   16:56 ( 298°)
2018 Apr 15   03:07 ( 296°)   13:18 ( 294°)   23:29 ( 293°)
2018 Apr 16   09:40 ( 291°)   19:51 ( 289°)
2018 Apr 17   06:03 ( 288°)   16:14 ( 286°)
2018 Apr 18   02:25 ( 284°)   12:36 ( 283°)   22:47 ( 281°)
2018 Apr 19   08:58 ( 279°)   19:10 ( 278°)
2018 Apr 20   05:21 ( 276°)   15:32 ( 275°)
2018 Apr 21   01:43 ( 273°)   11:54 ( 271°)   22:05 ( 270°)
2018 Apr 22   08:16 ( 268°)   18:28 ( 267°)
2018 Apr 23   04:39 ( 265°)   14:50 ( 263°)
2018 Apr 24   01:01 ( 262°)   11:12 ( 260°)   21:23 ( 258°)
2018 Apr 25   07:35 ( 257°)   17:46 ( 255°)
2018 Apr 26   03:57 ( 253°)   14:08 ( 252°)
2018 Apr 27   00:19 ( 250°)   10:30 ( 248°)   20:41 ( 247°)
2018 Apr 28   06:53 ( 245°)   17:04 ( 244°)
2018 Apr 29   03:15 ( 242°)   13:26 ( 240°)   23:37 ( 239°)
2018 Apr 30   09:48 ( 237°)   19:59 ( 235°)
2018 May 01   06:11 ( 234°)   16:22 ( 232°)
2018 May 02   02:33 ( 231°)   12:44 ( 229°)   22:55 ( 227°)
2018 May 03   09:06 ( 225°)   19:17 ( 224°)
2018 May 04   05:29 ( 223°)   15:40 ( 221°)
2018 May 05   01:51 ( 219°)   12:02 ( 217°)   22:13 ( 216°)
2018 May 06   08:24 ( 214°)   18:35 ( 212°)
2018 May 07   04:47 ( 211°)   14:58 ( 209°)
2018 May 08   01:09 ( 208°)   11:20 ( 206°)   21:31 ( 204°)
2018 May 09   07:42 ( 203°)   17:53 ( 201°)
2018 May 10   04:05 ( 200°)   14:16 ( 198°)
2018 May 11   00:27 ( 196°)   10:38 ( 195°)   20:49 ( 193°)
2018 May 12   07:00 ( 191°)   17:11 ( 189°)
2018 May 13   03:23 ( 188°)   13:34 ( 187°)   23:45 ( 185°)
2018 May 14   09:56 ( 183°)   20:07 ( 181°)
2018 May 15   06:18 ( 180°)   16:29 ( 178°)
2018 May 16   02:41 ( 177°)   12:52 ( 175°)   23:03 ( 173°)
2018 May 17   09:14 ( 172°)   19:25 ( 170°)
2018 May 18   05:36 ( 168°)   15:47 ( 167°)
2018 May 19   01:58 ( 165°)   12:10 ( 164°)   22:21 ( 162°)
2018 May 20   08:32 ( 160°)   18:43 ( 159°)
2018 May 21   04:54 ( 157°)   15:05 ( 155°)
2018 May 22   01:16 ( 153°)   11:28 ( 152°)   21:39 ( 151°)
2018 May 23   07:50 ( 149°)   18:01 ( 147°)
2018 May 24   04:12 ( 145°)   14:23 ( 144°)
2018 May 25   00:34 ( 142°)   10:46 ( 141°)   20:57 ( 139°)
2018 May 26   07:08 ( 137°)   17:19 ( 136°)
2018 May 27   03:30 ( 134°)   13:41 ( 132°)   23:52 ( 131°)
2018 May 28   10:03 ( 129°)   20:15 ( 128°)
2018 May 29   06:26 ( 126°)   16:37 ( 124°)
2018 May 30   02:48 ( 123°)   12:59 ( 121°)   23:10 ( 119°)
2018 May 31   09:21 ( 117°)   19:33 ( 116°)
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URGENT: Saturn polar storm

2018-03-31

Maciel Bassani Sparrengerger has imaged a bright spot on Saturn CM on March 29 at 08:16:05 UT that has later been confirmed by several observers.

http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/kk18/s180329z.htm

Updated ephemeris of this feature based on images from 29 March to 22 April are given below as calculated by Marc Delcroix. Urgent observations are required at all longitudes to follow the storm evolution, and search for other possible spots.

WinJUPOS 10.3.9 (Saturn), C.M. transit times, 2018/04/22  00:32
Object longitude: L3 = 181,8° - 11,7054°/d * (T - 2018 Apr 10,5)
Time interval: 2018 Mar 25,0 ... 2018 Jun 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Mar 29   08:16 ( 324°)   18:46 ( 319°)
2018 Mar 30   05:16 ( 314°)   15:46 ( 308°)
2018 Mar 31   02:17 ( 304°)   12:47 ( 299°)   23:17 ( 293°)
2018 Apr 01   09:47 ( 288°)   20:18 ( 283°)
2018 Apr 02   06:48 ( 278°)   17:18 ( 273°)
2018 Apr 03   03:48 ( 268°)   14:19 ( 263°)
2018 Apr 04   00:49 ( 258°)   11:19 ( 252°)   21:49 ( 247°)
2018 Apr 05   08:19 ( 242°)   18:50 ( 237°)
2018 Apr 06   05:20 ( 232°)   15:50 ( 227°)
2018 Apr 07   02:20 ( 221°)   12:51 ( 217°)   23:21 ( 211°)
2018 Apr 08   09:51 ( 206°)   20:21 ( 201°)
2018 Apr 09   06:52 ( 196°)   17:22 ( 191°)
2018 Apr 10   03:52 ( 186°)   14:22 ( 181°)
2018 Apr 11   00:52 ( 175°)   11:23 ( 171°)   21:53 ( 165°)
2018 Apr 12   08:23 ( 160°)   18:53 ( 155°)
2018 Apr 13   05:24 ( 150°)   15:54 ( 145°)
2018 Apr 14   02:24 ( 140°)   12:54 ( 134°)   23:24 ( 129°)
2018 Apr 15   09:55 ( 124°)   20:25 ( 119°)
2018 Apr 16   06:55 ( 114°)   17:25 ( 109°)
2018 Apr 17   03:56 ( 104°)   14:26 (  99°)
2018 Apr 18   00:56 (  94°)   11:26 (  88°)   21:56 (  83°)
2018 Apr 19   08:27 (  78°)   18:57 (  73°)
2018 Apr 20   05:27 (  68°)   15:57 (  63°)
2018 Apr 21   02:27 (  57°)   12:58 (  53°)   23:28 (  48°)
2018 Apr 22   09:58 (  42°)   20:28 (  37°)
2018 Apr 23   06:59 (  32°)   17:29 (  27°)
2018 Apr 24   03:59 (  22°)   14:29 (  17°)
2018 Apr 25   00:59 (  11°)   11:30 (   7°)   22:00 (   1°)
2018 Apr 26   08:30 ( 356°)   19:00 ( 351°)
2018 Apr 27   05:30 ( 346°)   16:01 ( 341°)
2018 Apr 28   02:31 ( 336°)   13:01 ( 331°)   23:31 ( 325°)
2018 Apr 29   10:01 ( 320°)   20:32 ( 315°)
2018 Apr 30   07:02 ( 310°)   17:32 ( 305°)
2018 May 01   04:02 ( 300°)   14:33 ( 295°)
2018 May 02   01:03 ( 290°)   11:33 ( 285°)   22:03 ( 279°)
2018 May 03   08:33 ( 274°)   19:04 ( 269°)
2018 May 04   05:34 ( 264°)   16:04 ( 259°)
2018 May 05   02:34 ( 254°)   13:04 ( 248°)   23:35 ( 244°)
2018 May 06   10:05 ( 239°)   20:35 ( 233°)
2018 May 07   07:05 ( 228°)   17:35 ( 223°)
2018 May 08   04:06 ( 218°)   14:36 ( 213°)
2018 May 09   01:06 ( 208°)   11:36 ( 202°)   22:06 ( 197°)
2018 May 10   08:37 ( 193°)   19:07 ( 187°)
2018 May 11   05:37 ( 182°)   16:07 ( 177°)
2018 May 12   02:37 ( 172°)   13:08 ( 167°)   23:38 ( 162°)
2018 May 13   10:08 ( 156°)   20:38 ( 151°)
2018 May 14   07:08 ( 146°)   17:39 ( 141°)
2018 May 15   04:09 ( 136°)   14:39 ( 131°)
2018 May 16   01:09 ( 126°)   11:39 ( 120°)   22:10 ( 116°)
2018 May 17   08:40 ( 110°)   19:10 ( 105°)
2018 May 18   05:40 ( 100°)   16:10 (  95°)
2018 May 19   02:41 (  90°)   13:11 (  85°)   23:41 (  80°)
2018 May 20   10:11 (  74°)   20:41 (  69°)
2018 May 21   07:11 (  64°)   17:42 (  59°)
2018 May 22   04:12 (  54°)   14:42 (  49°)
2018 May 23   01:12 (  44°)   11:42 (  38°)   22:13 (  34°)
2018 May 24   08:43 (  28°)   19:13 (  23°)
2018 May 25   05:43 (  18°)   16:13 (  13°)
2018 May 26   02:44 (   8°)   13:14 (   3°)   23:44 ( 358°)
2018 May 27   10:14 ( 352°)   20:44 ( 347°)
2018 May 28   07:15 ( 342°)   17:45 ( 337°)
2018 May 29   04:15 ( 332°)   14:45 ( 327°)
2018 May 30   01:15 ( 322°)   11:46 ( 317°)   22:16 ( 312°)
2018 May 31   08:46 ( 306°)   19:16 ( 301°)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jupiter alert: Convective outbreak in Jupiter's South Temperate Belt

2018-02-05

A convective outbreak in the South Temperate Belt has started in the region previously covered by the STB Ghost and following oval BA. Observations by Anthony Wesley and Damian Peach show the initial stages of this storm on February 4. Additional images by Jim Phillips indicate the activity probably started around February 2.

The outbreak is located at longitude 310.8 and planetographic latitude -30.5. It is best observed in IR750nm wavelength and is bright in 890nm images.

Images of this feature will be of high importance as the convection eruption evolves and interacts with the cyclonic region west of BA. Because convective features evolve quickly observations are needed in time-scales of hours at the start of these events and in days and weeks over the evolution of these features.

Neptune equatorial features

2017-11-08

Updated on 2017-12-04

Amateur observations of an equatorial bright large cloud in Neptune since June-July and over October and November have allowed to folow different cloud systems over the planet. Equatorial features followed by amateur astronomers in this period includ the close interaction of two equatorial clouds in November 6-10 and what appears to be a chain of equatorial clouds visible afterwards.

Many amateurs now (most notably Phil Miles, Darryl Milika and Pat Nicholas) have observed these cloud systems repeteadly providing very useful data to study this unusual equatorial cloud activity in the planet.

Updated ephemeris of the bright equatorial cloud are given below and have been calculated by Marc Delcroix.

WinJUPOS 10.3.5 (Neptune), C.M. transit times, 2017/12/03  21:05
Object longitude: L = 218,6° + 47,4020°/d * (T - 2017 Oct 22,5)
Time interval: 2017 Dec 01,0 ... 2018 Feb 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017 Dec 01   09:08 ( 309°)
2017 Dec 02   02:48 ( 344°)   20:29 (  19°)
2017 Dec 03   14:09 (  54°)
2017 Dec 04   07:50 (  89°)
2017 Dec 05   01:30 ( 124°)   19:10 ( 158°)
2017 Dec 06   12:51 ( 193°)
2017 Dec 07   06:31 ( 228°)
2017 Dec 08   00:12 ( 263°)   17:52 ( 298°)
2017 Dec 09   11:33 ( 333°)
2017 Dec 10   05:13 (   8°)   22:54 (  43°)
2017 Dec 11   16:34 (  78°)
2017 Dec 12   10:15 ( 113°)
2017 Dec 13   03:55 ( 148°)   21:35 ( 182°)
2017 Dec 14   15:16 ( 217°)
2017 Dec 15   08:56 ( 252°)
2017 Dec 16   02:37 ( 287°)   20:17 ( 322°)
2017 Dec 17   13:58 ( 357°)
2017 Dec 18   07:38 (  32°)
2017 Dec 19   01:19 (  67°)   18:59 ( 102°)
2017 Dec 20   12:40 ( 137°)
2017 Dec 21   06:20 ( 171°)
2017 Dec 22   00:01 ( 207°)   17:41 ( 241°)
2017 Dec 23   11:21 ( 276°)
2017 Dec 24   05:02 ( 311°)   22:42 ( 346°)
2017 Dec 25   16:23 (  21°)
2017 Dec 26   10:03 (  56°)
2017 Dec 27   03:44 (  91°)   21:24 ( 126°)
2017 Dec 28   15:05 ( 161°)
2017 Dec 29   08:45 ( 195°)
2017 Dec 30   02:26 ( 231°)   20:06 ( 265°)
2017 Dec 31   13:47 ( 300°)
2018 Jan 01   07:27 ( 335°)
2018 Jan 02   01:08 (  10°)   18:48 (  45°)
2018 Jan 03   12:28 (  80°)
2018 Jan 04   06:09 ( 115°)   23:49 ( 150°)
2018 Jan 05   17:30 ( 185°)
2018 Jan 06   11:10 ( 219°)
2018 Jan 07   04:51 ( 254°)   22:31 ( 289°)
2018 Jan 08   16:12 ( 324°)
2018 Jan 09   09:52 ( 359°)
2018 Jan 10   03:33 (  34°)   21:13 (  69°)
2018 Jan 11   14:54 ( 104°)
2018 Jan 12   08:34 ( 139°)
2018 Jan 13   02:15 ( 174°)   19:55 ( 209°)
2018 Jan 14   13:36 ( 244°)
2018 Jan 15   07:16 ( 278°)
2018 Jan 16   00:56 ( 313°)   18:37 ( 348°)
2018 Jan 17   12:17 (  23°)
2018 Jan 18   05:58 (  58°)   23:38 (  93°)
2018 Jan 19   17:19 ( 128°)
2018 Jan 20   10:59 ( 163°)
2018 Jan 21   04:40 ( 198°)   22:20 ( 233°)
2018 Jan 22   16:01 ( 268°)
2018 Jan 23   09:41 ( 302°)
2018 Jan 24   03:22 ( 337°)   21:02 (  12°)
2018 Jan 25   14:42 (  47°)
2018 Jan 26   08:23 (  82°)
2018 Jan 27   02:03 ( 117°)   19:44 ( 152°)
2018 Jan 28   13:24 ( 187°)
2018 Jan 29   07:05 ( 222°)
2018 Jan 30   00:45 ( 256°)   18:26 ( 292°)
2018 Jan 31   12:06 ( 326°)
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Saturn observations requested by Cassini

2017-04-12

The Cassini mission: Imaging Sub-System (ISS), Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and Visible-Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) will be getting very high-resolution observations soon (2017 April 26) during the spacecraft’s initial “dive” between the planet and the inner rings. The ISS images will have a very restricted coverage of the atmosphere, so observations from the Earth are being solicited by Dr. Linda Spilker, Cassini Chief Scientist and the different instrument teams. Best times for observations will be ffrom UTC 07:48:11 to 12:22:11 but any close in time observations will be very useful.
  • ISS captures high resolution WAC images of the upper atmosphere as its field of view skims across the North Pole towards the equator, outlining what is affectionately called “the noodle.” The main target of the noodle is north equatorial latitudes from about 20 deg North (when the camera reaches around 500m/pix resolution) to about -8 deg South (where Saturn is shadowed by the rings). CIRS will get 2km resolution, about 20x higher resolution then limb sounding and perhaps 100x higher than previous nadir observations. VIMS will be able to get about 50x better pixel resolution than our previous best images. During the HGA-to-Ram pointed time, ISS observes the best resolution of about 200 m/pixel (10x better than previous images), looking for small convective clouds for the clouds revealing the waves in Saturn's atmosphere. Those clouds and waves may indicate deep thunderstorms in the atmosphere.

Message sent by Dr. Glenn S. Orton (JPL/NASA) on behalf of Dr. Linda Spilker (Cassini Chief Scientist).

Juno perijoves

2016-11-03

Dr. Glenn Orton from the Juno mission has provided the following list of Juno perijoves. Amateur observations closely before and after these dates will be very useful to the scientists on Juno.

Dates of Juno Perijoves

Jupiter outbreak in the NTB

2016-10-29

John Rogers from the British Astronomical Association has compiled a first report on the current activity on Jupiter. The report is posted on the BAA Jupiter Section web pages at: https://www.britastro.org/node/8102

Juno exits safe mode

2016-10-29

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has exited from safe mode on October 26 and is back on work. The next perijove will be on December 11. See this in NASA's press release on the status of Juno.

Information sent by Dr. Glenn S. Orton: Juno is currently in 53.5-day orbits around Jupiter. Next peijoves will be on: 2016 Dec 11, 2017 Feb 2, Mar 27, May 18, Jul 10, Sep 2 and Oct 25. Note that solar conjunction is on Oct 26. There is a +-24-hour uncertainty on orbits for March and later, but this will be refined in the next few days.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered safe mode Tuesday, Oct. 18. This implies that no Jupiter observations were obtained during the perijove planned for that day later on. More information.

JUPITER ALERT: Eruption in the North Temperate Belt

2016-10-19

Jupiter observations obtained this morning in the IRTF by Glenn Orton show the outbreak of two bright plumes in the North Temperate Belt of the planet. This is a very important event known as a North Temperate Belt Disturbance (NTBD). The NTBD is a planetary-scale disturbance that has erupted in the peak of the strong eastward jet (150 to 180 m/s), similar to the one observed in 2007 and published in a paper in Nature in 2008.

See the images in Glenn Orton's facebook page.

After an urgent analysis, the two plumes are located at the following positions and will quickly evolve over the next few days.

Plume 1: Longitude: 82.9 III - Latitude (centric) = 21.8 N

Plume 2: Longitude: 114.3 III - Latitude (centric) = 21.8 N

We encourage observations of Jupiter even in its present close position to the Sun. Images of the plumes will allow to constrain one rare and very important event in Jupiter. Juno is in safe mode and could not observe these features in its close passage of the planet today but hopefully will be observing again in its next close pass over the planet.

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