The most important event was the merger of the famous long-lived white ovals BC and DE in the South Temperate region. This occurred in early 1998 during solar conjunction. The merged oval 'BE' was slightly larger, of low contrast, but distinct in good images. The remaining oval, FA, was gradually converging on oval BE. In the South Equatorial Belt, a major new 'mid-SEB outbreak' of turbulent white spots began during solar conjunction and spread most of the way around the planet. The EZ/NEBs edge was unusually disturbed, with especially large and variable projections and plumes. The NEB had reverted to its usual width after the expansion event of 1996. The array of 'barges' that formed as part of the expansion event persisted along its north edge, though they were shrinking during the apparition. One rapidly-moving white spot destroyed barges in its path and created small new ones in its wake.
Journal of the British Astronomical Association
- Pub Date:
- December 2001