Our resident space geek, Rachel Hobson, turned us on to this amazing amateur video, posted on the Bad Astronomy blog, of animated photos of Jupiter. In the blog post, Phil Plait writes:
That is just about the finest imagery of Jupiter from the ground I have ever seen! Look at the detail: the Great Red Spot, the string of brownish storms just above and trailing behind it, the white ovals, the whorls and streamers of air separating the horizontal banding. It’s breathtaking. And there’s this overwhelming three-dimensionality to it, a powerful sense that this is a giant planet. It’s simply stunning.
To get this phenomenal animation, Damian used a trick well-known among astrophotographers now, too: video cameras take very short exposures, which essentially freezes out the microturbulence in the Earth’s air, preserving the finest detail that is otherwise smeared out. By looking at individual still frames you can pick the ones that are the best, then string them together to make a video like the one above.