October 23, 2015

 

The Not So Great Red Spot

 

    If you were to try to name all of the planets, perhaps one of the first that comes to mind is Jupiter—which also happens to be the largest planet in our solar system. One of Jupiter’s most recognizable features is its Great Red Spot, a continuous anticlockwise circulation that is twice the size of Earth and has been observed to be circulating for hundreds of years. With wind speeds of up to 340 mph, one may question the source of stability for the super storm.  It is presumed that Jupiter’s internal heat source provides energy to keep the Great Red Spot (GRS), as well as all its weather going.

    In recent years, the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) has observe...

October 23, 2015

 

Who doesn’t love looking up at the night sky and noticing a shooting star? This week is the peak time for the Orionid meteor shower - so keep looking up.

 

Shooting stars are caused by debris that is soaring through space and brought near Earth by gravity. We see these meteors burning up in the atmosphere, causing a bright star-like appearance. During a meteor shower, the space debris is usually part of a comet. Some comets have orbits that bring them near Earth at regular intervals - so we know when to expect them.

 

Currently, the Orionid meteor shower has been visible from October 2nd, and will continue to be visible until November 7th. Orionids have regularly peaked in activity around October 20th, because it is...

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