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This image of Jupiter's white ovals BC and DE was taken by the Galileo spacecraft
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JPL/NASA

The Merging of White Ovals BC and DE

The final fate of white ovals is to merge together, or to just fade away, as oval FA , seems to have done. It is not often that ovals merge, however. Most often they come close enough to jostle, but ultimately repel each other, as many others have done.

In 1998, two of the three classic white ovals, BC and DE, merged to form a single oval called BE. The picture shows the sequence of events captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists will use the merging of these white ovals to understand more about the underlying currents in the system, and other details of the weather of Jupiter.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA