Jupiter Making Close Earth Approach Sunday
November 30, 2012

Slooh To Host Live Online Jupiter Viewing Experience This Weekend

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Slooh will be offering a real-time feed of Jupiter on the night it is at its closest to Earth until the summer of 2021.

The coverage will be of Jupiter at its brightest and biggest, and will be taking place this Sunday, December 2, starting at 5:15 p.m. Pacific.

Viewers will be able to watch the celestial event live from their PC, or smartphones powered by Apple's iOS or Google's Android.

The Jupiter event will be hosted by Slooh´s President, Patrick Paolucci, who will be joined by astronomer Bob Berman.

At the time of the event, Jupiter will be about 378 million miles away from Earth, and will appear as the most dazzling object in the sky, aside from the Moon.

Backyard astronomers will be able to point their telescopes at Jupiter and see some surface detail, including the dark equatorial belts and yellow-white zones.

The Slooh feeds will reveal blue deeper regions around the equator, the dark lightning-probe polar detail, and the most famous storm in the solar system known as the Great Red Spot.

“The Red Spot is a persistent hurricane,” Astronomy Magazine's columnist Bob Berman said in a press statement. "Its violent rotation is encouraged by the high-speed winds screaming in opposite directions along its top and bottom most flanks, as the planet's equator itself zooms 24 times faster than ours."

He said that even Jupiter researchers like Carolyn Porco say they cannot be sure why the storm is red, or why its color has dramatically varied the past three years from pink to orange to its reddish hue.

"A phosphorous compound like phosphine (PH3)? Or is it mainly some form of sulfur? You'd think we'd know this by now, but we don't, which makes observing it under ideal conditions, such as the ones we'll have Sunday night, even more enjoyable," Berman said.