This is not a flyby of a spacecraft, but an animation of more than a thousand observations of a gas giant from Earth. And it's awesome!
The twisted belts and poles of Jupiter along with the raging storms of the planet are some of the most exciting features in the Solar System. While hurricanes like the Great Red Spot have been raging for 150 years, various zones of Jupiter’s clouds move in different directions, feeding on winds that can exceed 400 mph (620 km / h).
The famous time lapse from a flyby of Voyager 1 in 1979 showed this wonder and the intense dynamics of the atmosphere of a giant planet. But now, a group of 91 amateur astronomers from around the world have joined together to create this video, showing in high resolution the cloud belts of Jupiter and the rotation of the Big Red Spot.
But this is not the flight of a spacecraft. Surprisingly, all these frames were taken from Earth observations and accelerated a million times to show the motion of the planet at high speed. The animation took more than 1000 pictures taken from December 19, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
“More than a year ago, I started the project by connecting 91 planetary amateur photographers for long-term monitoring,” said Peter Rosen, the project organizer. “This is the result of thousands of hours of work.” Rosen, along with team members Kristoffer Svenské and Johan Vorell, received permission from astronomers to use their images. The team worked to assemble the images and then assemble them into a cylindrical projection. Rosen reported that the frames were adjusted in color, tiers and seamlessly stitched together into 54 full maps, and then re-transformed into a map to show the very view of the planet.
“It demonstrates the technical skills that the global community of planetary photographers possesses. After all, they managed to achieve a high level of detail that allowed them to track the planet during its 250 revolutions, ”said Rosen.
The color bars on Jupiter are zones, and the dark ones are belts. In the belt, the wind blows in one direction, and in the zone in the opposite direction. Pa NASA data: cloud peaks are located higher in the belt and lower in the zone.
Belts and zones are indicated in the figure:
Jupiter and its system of belts and zones. The red spot is a storm with the force of a hurricane that has been roaming the planet for at least the last few hundred years.
Rosen noted that the satellites of Jupiter do not appear here, since everything is made from real images concentrated on the planet itself. But the movement of the cloud belts was accelerated almost a million times, which means that “the satellites would change their position rapidly in each frame and resemble a swarm of excited fireflies”.