Slooh will broadcast a free, real-time feed of Jupiter on the night it’s at its closest to Earth until the summer of 2021. By good fortune, this happens just as the famous cyclonic storm, the Great Red Spot, parades across the middle of the giant planet’s disk.
Slooh’s coverage of Jupiter at its brightest and biggest will begin on Sunday, December 2nd starting at 5:15 PM PST / 8:15 PM EST / 01:15 UTC (December 3rd) with real-time views from Slooh’s Canary Islands observatory. The event is free to the public on Slooh.com and viewers can watch live on their PC or IOS/Android mobile device at t-minus zero.
Slooh’s Jupiter event will be hosted by Slooh’s President, Patrick Paolucci, and will
be joined by astronomer Bob Berman. Bob and Patrick will explore the astronomical importance of Jupiter, the current and already funded future spacecraft missions, the intriguing possibilities of life in the Jovian satellite system, and even the odd, powerful decametric radio signals beamed from the fast-spinning world.
Jupiter will be about 378 million miles (608 million km) away from Earth on the night of December 2nd/3rd with a brilliant magnitude -2.8 that makes it by far the most dazzling object in the midnight sky, after the Moon. It is currently visible throughout the night. Weather permitting, backyard telescopes should be able to see some surface detail including the dark equatorial belts and yellow-white zones. The Slooh live feeds, however, will also reveal blue deeper regions around the equator, the dark lightning-prone polar detail, and the most famous storm in the solar system, the Great Red Spot, which is more than twice the size of Earth.
“The Red Spot is a persistent hurricane,” says Astronomy magazine’s Bob Berman. “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. But intriguingly, even Jupiter researchers such as Carolyn Porco say that they cannot be sure why it’s red, or exactly why its color has dramatically varied the past three years from pink to orange to a brick-like 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.”