Jupiter's missing belt

Jupiter before and after
The major dark band in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere has disappeared! Amateur astronomers noticed that it was fading a few months ago, but since then Jupiter has been behind the Sun, invisible from Earth. When it reemerged, the band was almost totally gone.

As you know, Jupiter is a gas giant, and its “stripes” are actually belts of different gases. Most astronomers think that the belt is still there, but hidden under white clouds–but we don’t really know for sure.

Read more or listen to an audio story about it at NPR.

Image source: NPR.org

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19 Responses to Jupiter's missing belt

  1. Dean k says:

    I wonder what type of gas would cover up the belt as well as what type of gas the belt is.

  2. Callum J. says:

    Thats incredible. I wonder if it actally has totally dissapeared or if there is still some gas left.

  3. Will Eye Am says:

    HAHA, a gas giant, classic. But getting to the point that is the coolest thing ever how in such a short period of time it changed soooo much.

  4. Kyle S. says:

    Ha. One of Jupiter’s belts disappeared. That doesn’t even seem possible because it isn’t like Jupiter was changing significantly while we couldn’t see it so it is pretty astonishing that an entire gas belt just vanished.

  5. JoSePh says:

    Hou can clouds cover up thoasands of miles of the stripe.?

  6. Will Eye Am says:

    Well Joseph, the circumference of Jupiter is pretty large and so is its diameter but remember this is over a period of time. Its still astonishing though.

  7. Coleman!!! says:

    Wow. Thats pretty amazing. But if or once (I know stupid question) it covers jupiter will we ever be able to see the lines again. I guess it depends on the types of gas. Does anyone know what kind it is? I’m thinking that this might have taken a while, but it actually didnt so thats why it is so incredible.

  8. This is not Sam Duffy its William Corman says:

    Hey this is William and coleman you’re right that it never said that it took a long time so it is soo amazing that it disappeared in that period of time.

  9. Julian P says:

    Wow, I think it’s actually gone or maybe the Planet can’t contain the gas from that belt anymore. I can’t wait to hear more about it. To think maybe all its belt may be gone in good time!


  10. Thomas L. says:

    So wierd….. hey, is it just me or did the great red spot on Jupiter get bigger when the belt faded?! Do you guys think that the gas from the belt moved to the spot?! :O It’d be amazing if it did. 😀

  11. Jupiter says:

    Hmm. Where did my belt go? I suppose it got lost under that layer of fat again. I really should start losing weight, but it would be so embarrassing to see Uranus getting bigger than me. Why can’t a guy remain trim but still be an imposing figure?

    I just don’t understand the Solar System.

    Your pal,

  12. Roscoe says:

    Wow, that seems very weird. I believe that a cloud must be covering up the ring, how could the ring have just vanished?

  13. Avery says:

    Ok, that is so cool. I wonder if all the gas is gone. I also cannot believe that a AMATEUR discovered that. I wonder why the southern hemisphere is missing…

  14. Everett says:

    Yes, why did this dark spot disappear, there are so many wonders in this world and in outerspace

  15. Denis W. says:

    Thats weird. Did it totally dissapeared or if there still some gas left

  16. Denis W. says:

    Thats weird. Did it totally dissappear or is there still some trace of gas?

  17. manny says:

    thats so weird the pic really shows it it is gone

  18. Ticks says:

    I think the ring is under a cloud

  19. SaM s says:

    thats an awesome picture. Its weird that it just mysteriously disappeared though. oh no… ALIENS

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