The Great Red Spot is Changing Shape

great red spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a swirling anticyclonic storm that was previously large enough to fit three Earths inside.  However, observations taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revealed that this is changing, both in shape and size.

So why is Jupiter’s trademark feature beginning to downsize?

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The Sky Tonight Update: Supermoon #2, Nov. 14

November 14 will bring the second of three “supermoons” of the year.  The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Beaver Moon because this was the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze.

It has also been known as the Frosty Moon and the Hunter’s Moon.  The November 14th full moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

The Sky Tonight Update: Taurids Meteor Shower, Nov. 4 peak

The Taurids meteor shower is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The shower runs annually from September 7 to December 10.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Uranus at Opposition, Oct. 15

This Oct. 15, the blue-green planet Uranus will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This happens because when Uranus lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Uranus, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Uranus.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Neptune at Opposition, Sept. 3

This Sept. 3rd, the blue giant planet Neptune will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long.  This happens because when Neptune lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Neptune, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Neptune.

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Proxima Centauri B – Closest Planet with Potential for Life?

The planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System, is seen in an undated artist's impression released by the European Southern Observatory August 24, 2016. ESO/M. Kornmesser/Handout via Reuters THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Recently, we began hearing rumors that an Earth-like planet had been found within the habitable zone of the next-nearest star to us, Proxima Centauri. According to the European Southern Observatory and other institutions, those statements have been confirmed.  Yes, there is a new planet, like Earth, within its star’s habitable zone, and relatively close to us.
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