Jupiter shows more detail than any other planet. Even a 60-mm refractor can reveal the major belts and zones in Jupiter's atmosphere. A 6-inch or larger telescope will show a wealth of details such as festoons, ovals and the Great Red Spot. This section features drawings and detailed descriptions of Jupiter.

The illustration below identifies Jovian atmospheric features. The image is inverted to match the view through a Newtonian reflector. SCT owners will see a mirror-reverse image with north at top and the image flipped left-to-right. In the below illustration, Jupiter rotates from right to left. The right side is called the following side. The left is called the preceding side. An imaginary line down the middle connecting the poles is called the Central Meridian (CM).

Map of Jovian Features

Notice the Great Red Spot (GRS) within the South Equatorial Belt (SEB). Jupiter completes one rotation every ten hours. So, the GRS would have been along the CM about 30 minutes prior to the time this drawing was made. The GRS has appeared pale with an orange-reddish oval in its southern portion the last two years. The SEB appears lighter following the GRS due to a series of disturbances within the SEB. Three large white ovals are visible within the South Temperate Belt (STB) following the CM. The wispy features connecting the North Equatorial Belt (NEB) to the Equatorial Belt (EB) are called festoons. The light colored breaks within the NEB are called rifts.

Here are links to pages for my observations of Jupiter. These pages include sketches and detailed notes.

2005 Observations

May 24, 2005 |

2002 Observations

January 22, 2002 | January 21, 2002 |

2000 Observations

December 22, 2000 | December 4, 2000 |

1999 Observations

Dec. 13, 1999 | Sept. 30, 1999 | Sept. 27, 1999 | Sept. 25, 1999 | Sept. 21, 1999 | Sept. 11, 1999


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