It doesn’t look like much in a small telescope, but Jupiter has lost a dark brown cloud belt over a quarter-million miles long that circles the planet just below the equator. Compare Jupiter before and after the SEB faded:
Before the Space Age (and even a decade or two into it) it was assumed that planets and moons would be rather tame orbs: bland clouds and craters and not much going on. Astronomers are confronted with many mysteries: disappearing clouds, liquid interiors on ice moons, volcanoes, geysers–every planet has very interesting and active things taking place.
Jupiter is up early in the morning, in the east. I haven’t been following it, but once I get my telescope mount stabilized, I’m taking a look at this.
Image credit: Anthony Wesley