On 31 May, Clyde Foster, an amateur astronomer of Centurion, South Africa, noticed what appeared to be a bright new spot, a presumed storm, on Jupiter, just below and to the right of the Great Red Spot. Two days later, NASA’s Juno spacecraft carried out its 27th close flyby of the giant planet, capturing a sharp view of the new storm, informally dubbed “Clyde’s Spot.” According to NASA, the feature is a plume of material erupting above Jupiter’s top-most cloud layers, a convective outbreak like others occasionally seen in the South Temperate Belt. Citizen-scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image of Jupiter, the Great Red Spot and Clyde’s Spot combining five Juno images taken on 2 June when the spacecraft was between 45,000 kilometres (28,000 miles) and 95,000 kilometres (59,000 miles) above Jupiter’s cloud tops.
With the opposition of Jupiter occurring on 9 May, now is the time to ensure that your telescope is clean and collimated (aligned) to deliver the sharpest images of the solar system’s largest planet at its best. We tell you when and how to view Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and a wealth of Galilean moon phenomena throughout May 2018.