Program: GN-2010B-DD-3

Title:A Major Outbreak in Jupiter's Southern Hemisphere, Reimergence of the South Equatorial Belt?
PI:Glenn Orton
Co-I(s): Leigh Fletcher, Imke de Pater, Padma Yanamandra-Fisher, Michelle Edwards, Chad Trujillo, Heidi Hammel, Christopher Go


Between 2008 and 2010, Jupiter's typically dark South Equatorial Belt (SEB) begin a dramatic upheaval, fading to a white zone-like appearance over a matter of months. Thermal imaging of this upheaval has revealed the temperature and cloud variability associated with this transition, however further images of the reimergence of the SEB are crucial to continue our characterization of the SEB life cycle. On November 9, 2010, amateur images revealed that the reimergence of the SEB is now underway. Observations in FeII and Br gamma clearly show a spectracular plume feature in the SEB. In the last 2 days, visible images show a dark region beginning to form on the west side of the plume (4 days after the initial discovery). We expect this localized disturbance to spread dark material overl all longitudes. We propose M-band (4.68 um) with NIRI in natural seeing to determine whether the dark material corresponds to a clearing of clouds, as widely assumed but never verified. We also propose CH4 (1.58 um), FeII (1.644 um), and H2 1-0S(1) 2.122 um observations with NIRI and AO to constrain the depth from which the upwelling arose - a key to understanding the dynamics of this phenomenon.

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