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Jupiter opposition and Juno's Europa flyby


Unique Jupiter opposition on 26th September 2022: This year Jupiter opposition is the closest one in 70 years making Jupiter’s equatorial diameter as large as 49.9 arcsec as observed from Earth. The opposition occurs on 26 September 2022. A few days later, the Juno mission will make its 45 Perijove of Jupiter on 29 September at 17:11:30 UTC. During this perijove Juno will perform a very close flyby of Europa at an altitude of only 320 km obtaining the most detailed observations of its surface from space. Europa will be a target of 1.1'' during those days close to opposition.

Amateur astronomers are invited to cover this perijove with observations of Jupiter and Europa with the added spatial resolution over Jupiter provided by the exceptional opposition and the possibly family portraits of the Jupiter system that can be obtained on those dates.

Return of the Venus Cloud Discontinuity


A large scale Cloud Discontinuity (CD) on Venus has been observed during the last weeks by amateur astronomers Antonio Cidadao, Luigi Morrone and Clyde Foster. This type of events represent a peculiar morphology of Venus clouds discovered recently and tracked last year over amateur observations. This time, a clear manifestation of Venus' CD was captured 5 times during May 2022 (5-10-15-20-25). The next observation of this feature is expected on 30 May and every ~5 days after it.

It will be very interesting to see when it will dissipate, so observations with IR filters are required. Imaging in UV may be useful too to confirm whether this wave phenomenon dissipates before arriving at the top of the clouds. Also, it is very important to observe every day to cover the global situation of the middle clouds.

Observations should be posted in the ALPO-Japan webpages and in the PVOL database of amateur observations (http://pvol.ehu.eus)

Javier Peralta from the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain) and Manos Kardasis (Greece) are coordinating a large effort to understand the global behavior of this feature.

Javier Peralta, jperalta1@us.es

Manos Kardasis, astromanos2002@yahoo.gr

Additional information:

Pluto occultation


A stellar occultation by Pluto will occur on June 1, 2022, and will be observable from the South East Pacific at 16:16:30 UT. The map on the right contains information about the path of the shadow of Pluto over Earth's surface. Observations of this stellar occultation can help researchers to study the atmosphere of Pluto and its seasonal variation from comparison with data obtained by the NASA New Horizons spacecraft and previous occultations. In particular, observations obtained close to the center of the shadow, and requiring well located portable telescopes, will be very valuable to investigate the deeper layers of Pluto's atmosphere.

Important links

Jupiter Impact Alert!


Ko Arimatsu, from Kwasan Observatory, Kyoto University, reports on the discovery of a new impact in Jupiter. The impact occurred on 15 October 2021 at 13:24 UT and it was observed as a 2 seconds flash with a dual imaging system called PONCOTS.

You can see the original discoverer announcement at: https://twitter.com/OASES_miyako/status/1449206637391007747 . You can see the video of the impact in visible light on this youtube link.

The impact occurred approximately at +20ºPg and 40º L3. This location will be possibly observed by JunoCam on the Juno mission on its PJ37 orbit later today!

If you have observations of this impact flash please report those to Ko Arimatsu, as well as R. Hueso and M. Delcroix by email to:

    Ko Arimatsu: arimatsu.ko.6x ... AT ... kyoto-u.ac.jp
    Ricardo Hueso: ricardo.hueso ... AT ... ehu.eus
    Marc Delcroix: delcroix.marc ... AT ... free.fr

Jupiter Impact Alert


Marc Delcroix alerts of a Jupiter impact detection by José Luis Pereira from Brazil.

TO ALL OBSERVERS: Check videos around 2021-09-13T22:39:30 UT to see if the video shows the flash of the impact. Additional videos will improve the study of the impacting body and will help to determine a good light-curve for this object desintegrating in Jupiter's atmosphere. Also CHECK images in CH4 band that you may have of the area after the impact and in the last Jupiter rotation .

PLEASE CONTACT US (Ricardo Hueso and Marc Delcroix) for analysis of data in case you have observed this area.

The impact detection by Jose Luis Pereira occured under bad weather conditions. Jose Luis decided to observe to look for impacts and used the software DeTeCt to check his videos. He did see something on screen while tweaking the parameters on hi first video, but thought it could be due to the very bad conditions with Jupiter even disappearing under the environment fog.

Sincere congratulations to Jose Luis Pereira for this great observation captured under difficult weather conditions! You can check a GIF extracted from the video at Marc's site: http://astrosurf.com/planetessaf/doc/2021-09-13-2239_3-IRUV-Jup_F3275-3385%20qmax.gif, or here at PVOL: http://pvol2.ehu.eus/pvolfiles/2021-09-13-2239_3-IRUV-Jup_F3275-3385 qmax.gif

New Jupiter STB Convective outbreak


A new convective outbreak is developing in Jupiter's South Temperate Belt. A methane band image obtained on August 7th by Christopher Go shows the outbreak similarly to last year Clyde's spot. The storm has started in a small cyclone of the STB that has crossed below the Great Red Spot before starting a convective outbreak. This cyclone has showed high brigthness in the visible during the last few days and has been gaining in visibility before forming this convective eruption.

Observations in methane band are important in the first few days of activity. Observations in other filters will also be very helpful as the storm grows, dissipates and forms a disturbed cyclone with bright and dark structures. The short-term evolution is particularly important to understand differences and similarities with previous similar events.

Volcanic plume on Io


Jean-Luc Dauvergne from France reports the possible detection of a volcanic plume on Io attached to the Loki Patera region. The detection occurred on a series of images and videos obtained on 29 July 2021 at around 23:40 UT with a 300 mm telescope. Moisés Portillo from Spain reports a similar event from a set of images obtained on 28 July at around 01:49 UT (see image on the right). This is probably the first detection of a volcanic plume on Io from ground-based telescopes (ground-based observations of Io with large telescopes monitor the volcanic activity through the detection of hot spots in the surface without resolving volcanic plumes). Frank Marchis, an specialist on high-resolution imaging of Io reports that Io has been active since the month of April.

We encourage observers to look for possible additional detections of this plume in images of Io obtained close to 29 July and in recent observations. Volcanic plumes are better detected on the blue channel than in red light because the light observed is diffused in the tenuous material of the plume. So, color observations that do not show the plume might be checked in its blue channel.

See Jean-Luc's images and his report on Astrosurf.

Double Venus flyby on 9 and 10 August


junocam junocam Solar Orbiter (ESA) and BepiColombo (ESA/JAXA) will make two Venus flybys on 9 and 10 August obtaining observations of Venus from multiple points in their approach to the planet. Venus will also be observed by the Akatsuki orbiter (JAXA) and ground-based observatories. The closest approaches to Venus from these missions will be:

Solar Orbiter – closest approach ~7995 km at 04:42 UTC on 9 Aug
BepiColombo - closest approach ~550 km at 13:48 UTC on 10 Aug

Coverage of these two flybys will be through social media from ESA on Twitter: @Esaoperations @ESAsolarorbiter, @bepicolombo, @ESA_Bepi, @ESA_MTM and the first images of the flybys are expected to be released soon.

Amateur images of Venus through August to the maximum elongation of the planet are desired to maximize the return of these two flybys. You can check recent images of Venus in PVOL with noticeable cloud details on images by Luigi Morrone and Joaquín Camarena.

The figure on the right sketches the observing conditions of Venus from January 2020 to January 2022 with dates of the recent flybys by the Parker Solar Probe (11 July 2020), BepiColombo (15 October 2020) and the upcoming (9-10 August) Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo flybys. Although these flybys occur when Venus has a low elevation on the sky from most locations, Venus elongation continues to raise with maximum elongation close to 1 November 2021 favoring observers in the South hemisphere.

More information:

  • https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/ESA_gets_ready_for_double_Venus_flyby
  • http://pvol2.ehu.eus/bc/Venus/
  • JunoCam images on PVOL


    junocam The largest collection of images in PVOL correspond to Jupiter observations obtained by amateur astronomers from all over the world. The Juno mission around Jupiter has provided the highest spatial resolution observations of the planet. The context of these observations comes many times from amateur observations and the Juno mission has stablished a large-scale collaboration with amateur astronomers and citizen scientists through the JunoCam instrument (PI: Candice Hansen, Planetary Sciences Institute) and the https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam website. Now, to facilitate the comparison of these two very diverse datasets PVOL incorporates maps of Junocam images accesible through its search engine with the user "j unocam" or simply by date. The images in PVOL correspond to cylindrical maps of color images of Jupiter. Future updates of this dataset may incorporate observations in the methane band. A list of images at their glorious high spatial resolution is also available in PVOL at its Junocam images tab in the upper menu.

    The current data uploaded into PVOL incorporates RGB observations from Juno's perijoves 3 to 11 and a new perijove will be uploaded with a cadence of one per week approximately.

    Mapping of these images and their incorporation in PVOL has been possible thanks to the project Europlanet 2024 RI and the scientific collaboration with Drs. Candice Hansen (LPI) and Glenn S. Orton (JPL).

    Mutual Phenomena of Jupiter satellites in 2021


    Phemus2021 In 2021 Jupiter will be edge-on to the Sun and Earth (with equinox on May 2). This geometry will allow the observations of several mutual phenomena ("phemus" from phénomenes mutuelles in French) of the galilean moons (transits, and eclipses between the galilean moons) resulting in hundreds of events. These kind of events occur over a broad period of time of less than a year separated by 6 Earth years to the previous and next epochs of Phemus.

    The IMCCE (Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides) has initiated an observing campaign with predictions of the timings of the events available at https://www.imcce.fr/recherche/campagnes-observations/phemus/phemu#. The webpage contains information about the tips for observations of the events and tools. Detailed events can inform about the details of the orbits of the satellites and gravity effects on them improving our knowledge of the Jupiter system.

    Detailed ephemerides of the events are also available at: http://nsdb.imcce.fr/multisat/nsszph517he.htm.

    You can also plan your observations with visualisations of the events using WinJUPOS (Tools > Ephemerides > Graphics). John H. Rogers, from the BAA indicates that some of the events listed by IMCCE are actually behind Jupiter or in its shadow and are not observable and using WinJupos in advance can be a good idea towards a successful plannification of the observation.