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Call for Jupiter hi-res observations this month


With Jupiter at opposition, and many northern hemisphere observers now getting superb high-resolution images, this month is an ideal time for an imaging effort that would, in particular, enable to map the poorly-known flow patterns in the planet’s north polar region (NPR). Some of us made the first detailed study of this region last year [see BAA 2022/23 report no.6], measuring drift rates of some features up to 76°N, and we hope that images this month can yield even better results. Juno’s Perijove-56 is on Nov.22, and JunoCam should be able to get a good map of the planet, including about half the NPR at high resolution. Indeed, this may be JunoCam’s last best opportunity for such a global map, as the instruments will concentrate on very close Io flybys at PJ57 & PJ58, and the views of Jupiter may be less complete thereafter.

Therefore, observers who can take hi-res images that resolve details up to the polar regions are asked to do so especially during the period from Saturday Nov.11 to Saturday Dec.3. This is just a request to continue your normal imaging and reporting procedures but perhaps more intensively if you can. A campaign over 3 weeks is desirable to allow sustained tracking of high-latitude features and to allow for gaps due to unfavorable weather. And, of course, your images will also enable detailed study of all other regions of the planet, and will support any observations that professional astronomers may make for PJ56.

PJ56 itself is on Nov.22 with equator crossing at 12:36 (UT at spacecraft) at L3=136. The track will be on the night side, but imaging of it on Nov.22 could be valuable to give context for Juno’s other instruments such as the Microwave Radiometer. Juno’s best sunlit views of the NPR will be on the other side of the planet during its approach.

Clear and steady skies!

John Rogers (BAA)
Shinji Mizumoto (ALPO-Japan)
Glenn Orton (JPL)
Ricardo Hueso (Univ. del Pais Vasco)
Gianluigi Adamoli (JUPOS team)
Rob Bullen (JUPOS team)
Damian Peach (BAA)