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Jupiter Is Missing a Belt

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-holds-up-its-pants dept.

Space 187

mbone writes "Jupiter just went through Superior Conjunction (i.e., went behind the Sun as seen from the Earth), so it has been out of view for a while. Now that it has returned, it is different — the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) is missing. The SEB has about 10 times the surface area of the Earth, so this is not a small change. Here are a series of photos of Jupiter's new look. The Great Red Spot typically inhabits the southern border of the SEB, but it doesn't seem to be affected by the change. It's a pity that this happened at Superior Conjunction, and that there is no satellite in Jupiter orbit, so details of the change are largely missing. The SEB has previously gone missing in 1973 and 1990. Since no one really knows what makes the Jovian belts, no one knows why they disappear either. If the belts are really just material from deeper layers coming to the surface, it is possible that the convection has stopped for some reason, or that high-altitude clouds have covered it over."

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Wow, this is pretty serious. (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182008)

I left my belt in a hotel once so I know what this is like.

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (4, Funny)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182256)

Wrapped around the dowel in the closet no doubt.

Do be careful with that kind of play, you don't want to end up like David Caradine

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182278)

Were your red spots unaffected as well?

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182344)

Maybe this is tilted 180 degrees vertically.

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (1)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183102)

quite a bold fashion statement

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (1)

jmickle (941634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183240)

I wonder if there is some kind of planet - brothel behind the sun, and the reason nasa has not said anything is because they are holding out on the party....

Re:Wow, this is pretty serious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183456)

God wanted to play hula for a while... Let the man be, geez!

It's the Monolith (5, Funny)

u17 (1730558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182016)

Sorry, there is no other explanation! Did you look at the date recently?

Re:It's the Monolith (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182410)

I might also be a lighting effect related to the Sun's position, our position and possibly other space phenomenons (magnetic fields, etc). If one looks at both pictures on the link below, we can see that the belt is still there, it is only much less visible. Remember that those belts are gases that could be more sensible to these types of effects.

http://www.tgdaily.com/space-features/49737-one-of-jupiters-belts-disappears [tgdaily.com]

At first, I also thought about the belt being on the hidden side of the planet but Jupiter has got a rotation period of about half a day so we should have noticed this already if it was the case ;-)

Re:It's the Monolith (1)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183326)

OMG yes!

Asimov forecast this is "2010: A Space Oddity".

The monkeys are going to take over, so I'm off to buy bananas... !

Missing belt? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182030)

Check Uranus.

Re:Missing belt? (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182140)

-1, Most Predictable Joke Ever

Re:Missing belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182484)

Don't feel bad, he's just mad because he didn't post it first.

Re:Missing belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182944)

Perhaps someone should check Hisanus.

Re:Missing belt? (1, Informative)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182794)

Nice use of passive-aggressive "Informative" modifier to traditional passive-aggressive "Funny".

Re:Missing belt? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182816)

Don't you mean "+1, Most Predictable Joke Ever"?

Re:Missing belt? (3, Interesting)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182998)

No, what's more predictable is that people will moan about it being an old joke, whereas if it was called a meme everyone would think it was cool and stuff.

Re:Missing belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183054)

Oh. Like:

all ... your ... belt ... are ... belong ... to ... us

???

Re:Missing belt? (0, Offtopic)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183622)

That's what she said.

Re:Missing belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183398)

It's just sad someone there acually can think it's a joke at all or that's some kind of a meme. "Mama, he said 'penis'" is your level? Pathetic.

Re:Missing belt? (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183420)

ObFuturama:

Fry: "Hey, as long as you don't make me smell Uranus." *laughs*
Leela: "I don't get it."
Professor: "I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all."
Fry: "Oh. What's it called now?"
Professor: "Urectum. Here, let me locate it for you."
Fry: "Hehe, no, no, I think I'll just smell around a bit over here."

Re:Missing belt? (1, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183260)

Yes, a better one (which I would have made an f/p if I'd seen this sooner) would be:

"Hey ass-tronomers: will this make it easier to see Uranus?"

Excellent. (2, Funny)

metamechanical (545566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182370)

If you speak from personal experience, then you sir are far more hardcore than I.

If I'm not mistaken, I think the internet gives out medals for this sort of depravity. At the very least you might get lucky and find a newsgroup of similarly minded individuals.

Personally, I'm not sure whether I should congratulate you or back away from you slowly.

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182836)

why were you close to him in the first place?

Re:Excellent. (2, Funny)

nottheusualsuspect (1681134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183388)

Well, either way, just be sure not to shake his hand.

Re:Missing belt? (1)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183154)

Check Uranus.

That's what she said.

Get off of my lawn! (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183482)

You damn punk planets and your baggy pants. Where's my M1 when I need it?

Re:Missing belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183710)

Nah, that's where the Eels [practicalf...ping.co.uk] are kept.

jupiter global warming ? (1)

FaytLeingod (964131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182036)

jupiter global warming ?

Re:jupiter global warming ? (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182454)

Yeah, I was just thinking "Rising CO2 levels?".

Re:jupiter global warming ? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182712)

Make sense if the Sun has got anything to do with Earth global warming ;-)

Re:jupiter global warming ? (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183534)

I wonder if you asked an astronomer who doesn't know, yet, how long it would take that stripe to disappear. He'd probably say something like "500 million years, why?" -- because astronomer predictions are always like dog years * 70 million. (That way, you'll never live long enough to prove them wrong!)

Re:jupiter global warming ? (1)

youngdev (1238812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183594)

Quick!!!! break out the hubble! I bet we can see george bush and the CEO of Haliburton riding around in an SUV up there!

Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182038)

What about Saturn's rings, insensitive clods!?!?!

Prototype (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182058)

Maybe Jupiter will be releasing a new gen iBelt soon?

It's global warming (2, Funny)

hv (108589) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182064)

Great masses will often loosen or lose their belts altogether to combat increases in temperature. Ask Earth.

Re:It's global warming (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182384)

Kind of like at Thanksgiving then?

NIBIRU TOOK THEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182070)

It was Nibiru's gravitational field who sucked them up.

2012, here we come!

I know! (-1, Redundant)

Neutral_Observer (1409941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182078)

It's hiding in Uranus!

New Scientist has before/after pics. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182084)

Re:New Scientist has before/after pics. (0, Redundant)

EdtheFox (959194) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182474)

http://www.newscientist.com/articleimages/dn18889/1-jupiter-loses-a-stripe.html [newscientist.com]

There. Fixed that for ya.

Any Karma appreciated.

Re:New Scientist has before/after pics. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182552)

I hope you get modded into the ground for being a karma whore.

Re:New Scientist has before/after pics. (0, Redundant)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183116)

I hope you figure out that karma exists for a reason and that posting anonymously is like begging to not be heard.

Shy planet? (4, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182112)

Jupiter's a shy planet. He doesn't like changing his undies when being watched, so he waited until he could hide behind the Sun. That also explains why the part missing is brown. Nothing like freshly-laundered underwear for the first time in 20 years...

Re:Shy planet? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182390)

Just what I thought. Jupiter's spot is really a capital "S" in a diamond. Only we don't see it sharp. And there is no telephone box that can hold Jupiter.

Re:Shy planet? (2, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182776)

Actually, the real answer is that Jupiter is just so fat that you can't see the belt.

Re:Shy planet? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182858)

Okay fine...Your momma's so fat that Jupiter gave her its belt!

Fashion (5, Funny)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182160)

You're supposed to update your wardrobe in the spring.

Re:Fashion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182188)

Yeah, well... what season is it on Jupiter anyway?

Re:Fashion (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182306)

Yeah, well... what season is it on Jupiter anyway?

Jupiter only has one season. It is called Crush-To-Death-And-Fry-With-Radiation. Happy CruToDaFrWiRad to you fellow Jovian.

2010 (5, Funny)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182224)

"My God! It's full of stars!"

At least we get to use almost all the moons....

Re:2010 (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182456)

Too bad we can't communicate with Earth from them, though. I hear the Io latency is appalling on a few.

(N.B. Yes, I got the reference.)

Except Europa. (2, Funny)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182558)

Except Europa. Attempt no landing there.

Everybodylookatthemoon. (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182242)

He's so bright and milky white / Shining down upon the ground / He's the bright, milky white / Shining down upon the ground / Everybody look at the moon / Everybody seein' the moon / The moon is bright / He's milky white / Everybody look at the moon / Uh! ::smiles::

Heey! I did a song! Jupiter, I did a song! You ain't got one! Heey!

Re:Everybodylookatthemoon. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182574)

"You see, that is why you do not ask the Moon!"
"Listen, I took a chance, all right? We asked the Moon, I didn't know he was an alabaster retard, did I?"

Re:Everybodylookatthemoon. (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183464)

M-O-O-N. That spells, "Hey Coach, did you get your kid outta the TV yet?"

Mystery Solved (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182288)

Roseanne Barr wanted her belt back.

Jupiter is white... (4, Funny)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182320)

Jupiter is white,
Uranus is blue,
In Soviet Russia,
Jupiter stripes you!

In other news (1)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182322)

Police are looking for an abnormally large man with newly fitting pants.

Can we use the belt to cinch the oil leak? (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182364)

The Gulf of Mexico would be happy for any assistance.

Juno/EJSM? (4, Informative)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182416)

We really need a Cassini-like mission around Jupiter. Ground-based observations are just amazing, but think of the science we could do at Jupiter!

Juno won't be launched until 2011, and it's mission is only going to be one year (although we've seen how these things can be extended). EJSM seems promising, but that's still 10 years from launch.

And there don't seem to be any plans for Uranus and Neptune. What a shame.

Re:Juno/EJSM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183566)

That would be great, though are Jupiter's radiation belts stay constant or are they fluxing? I know they had some serious nail-biting moments for the Voyager spacecrafts when getting close to Jupiter. Could we put a scientific probe in a safe orbit that would be close enough to do good science yet be away from all the serious eddies of radiation that would fry most equipment?

Re:Juno/EJSM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183642)

though are Jupiter's radiation belts stay constant or are they fluxing?

Wow, I see the lolcats are posting on Slashdot again.

The belt DIDN'T disappear (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182418)

It just slipped to a more southerly latitude just below the great Jovian beer gut.

continuing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182422)

That joke was heinous.

That explains it (0, Redundant)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182452)

Now I know why Jupiter's pants keep falling down.

Re:That explains it (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182678)

It's not Jupiters pants. It is MY Jupiter pants [spacetribe.com] that fell down.

Re:That explains it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182992)

Now I know why Jupiter's pants keep falling down.

Pants on the ground,
Pants on the ground,
Lookin' like a FOOL with your Pants on the ground.

Pants on the Ground (2, Funny)

bareman (60518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182462)

Jupiter finally heard Gen. Larry Platt's song, became embarrassed, and finally hiked that belt up North where it belonged.

planetary nudity (0)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182468)

Jupiter looses belt now looks like Uranus

moRd up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182540)

in our group [samag.com] in the it. Its mission is then Jordan Hubbard reformaated Lead to 'cleaner use the sling. munches the most bulk of the FreeBSD Are She had taken *BSD has steadily The failure of halt. Even Emacs

I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182554)

I hope its pants don't fall down.

Jupitor's Cock! (1)

mrbojangles_dcfc (961388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182556)

The best curse phrase in Spartacus: Blood and Sand now reveals it's meaning. Those Romans knew more than we thought.

SEB disappearance to be blamed on Global Warming - (0, Flamebait)

JackCroww (733340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182622)

in 5, 4, 3, 2...

Only by tired old deniers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183508)

Only by tired old deniers.

It's a Trap! (1)

sgu222e (1810000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182664)

This smells of Photoshop CS5 Content Awareness!

I blame Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182750)

Obviously Jovian made Global Warming. Let's tax the Europans into poverty so it doesn't happen again.

Must Be (0)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182760)

It must be that nasty global warming striking again. Or maybe its oil from the Gulf of Mexico that has reached out of orbit!

Jupiter doppelganger? (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182796)

Or maybe Jupiter got tired of all you slashdotters and pulled a Houdini when you weren't looking...

Atkins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32182834)

The reason is obvious, Jupiter lost some weight, so that extra belt just wasn't needed anymore.

From the article: (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182852)

The disappearance of the belt comes at a time of widespread - but mysterious - change on Jupiter, which has seen changes to the colour of other bands and spots in its atmosphere. "There has been a lot going on," Orton says.

But is there a monolith floating around Jupiter now?

We hAve (3, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182886)

We haVe yoUre beLT, anD if YoU eVer wiSh tO sEe It aGaiN, yoU mUsT PlaCe onE mIlliOn DoLlaRs in uNmaRked biLls In a tO bE annOunCed uNdisCloseD loCatIon...

Why has nobody mentioned the obvious? (1)

phxhawke (35260) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182896)

It was actually Carmen San Diego who took the belt! She's getting her practice run to either steal the Great Red Spot or Saturn's Rings!

KHAN! (2, Funny)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182922)

KHAN!

as if Jupiter could be 'inferior' (2, Funny)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182972)

"Jupiter just went through Superior Conjunction (i.e., went behind the Sun as seen from the Earth)" ...wake me when Jupiter passes between the sun and the earth ("inferior conjunction"?), or on second thought, don't.

Seasonal? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32182994)

Could it be Seasonal in that special Jovian way?

Crazy! (1)

heavensbest (1810020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183014)

At first I thought "Um, I'm not sure I beleive this." If it is that is crazy that it can dissappear and be okay.

This is the ???? we've been waiting for! (2, Funny)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183026)

And now, we profit!

Simpsons (3, Funny)

jaryd (1702090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183144)

"Hey Simpson, wanna trade belts?" "Well, not really.. My belt is really cool, and yours is just an extension cord" "Hey man, he's ragging on your cord! Get him!"

My theory... (2, Funny)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183172)

The invasion fleet left Jupiter.

I lost a... (2, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183244)

whole belt on NutraSystem!

Hum... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183256)

1990-1973 = 17 years
1990+17 = 2007 .. but we're in 2010.

So, it's 3 years late? ... Is Jupiter pregnant?

your mom... (1)

GordonChil (1343543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183340)

Your MOM's belt has ten times the surface area as earth.

Two words: Allais Effect (4, Interesting)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183432)

In 1990 and 2010, Saturn and Jupiter were in Superior Conjunction. In 1973, that condition had just passed.

Any chance that the Allais Effect [wikipedia.org] with Jupiter, Sun, Saturn syzygy might be at work here? I know the Allais Effect is a quirky, difficult-to-replicate condition, but perhaps this is another data point.

How to respond... (1)

Cyclloid (948776) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183548)

1. I knew it! Aliens are hiding behind the sun. They just stole Jupiter's belt!!
2. Opps! We caught Jupiter with its pants down. How embarrassing.
3. You wouldn't have lost your belt if you had fastened it right.

The Forge of God IRL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183556)

Uh-oh. The last time one of Jupiter's satellite bodies disappeared, things did not turn out so well for us [allreaders.com] .

I know where to find them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32183614)

You can buy Jovian Belts 3 for a dollar at Pennys, but I wouldn't pay three dollars for just one. Those Jovian's don't know much about making belts, let me tell you (they fall apart when you get them too close to the sun).

Tell me this is just a coincidence! (1)

kybur (1002682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32183706)

...On the same day that another Apple iPhone goes missing? Yikes!
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