I was happy to see Per-Johnny’s historical sketch of Jupiter and sorry that the King is too low for him to make a current observation. Veteran Jupiter observers report that the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) follows a cycle of disappearance and reappearance over the years.
I was fortunate to get an opportunity to see Jupiter during the present cycle of disappearance. The SEB isn’t completely gone–the northern component was faintly visible. Some say that the SEB doesn’t really go away, but rather is covered by the bright zonal clouds bordering it, but no one knows for sure.
What is certain is that Jupiter looks very different without the symmetry of the northern and southern belts. Hopefully, all who wish to will get a chance to see this visual phenomenon.
The sketch was done in the field with HB and 2B pencils on white copy paper. Other notes are with the sketch.
Best to all,
Friars Hill, WV USA
26 May 2010 0945-1000 UT