APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

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APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:05 am

Image Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking Great Red Spot

Explanation: What will become of Jupiter's Great Red Spot? Gas giant Jupiter is the solar system's largest world with about 320 times the mass of planet Earth. Jupiter is home to one of the largest and longest lasting storm systems known, the Great Red Spot (GRS), visible to the left. The GRS is so large it could swallow Earth, although it has been shrinking. Comparison with historical notes indicate that the storm spans only about one third of the surface area it had 150 years ago. NASA's Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program has been monitoring the storm more recently using the Hubble Space Telescope. The featured Hubble OPAL image shows Jupiter as it appeared in 2016, processed in a way that makes red hues appear quite vibrant. Modern GRS data indicate that the storm continues to constrict its surface area, but is also becoming slightly taller, vertically. No one knows the future of the GRS, including the possibility that if the shrinking trend continues, the GRS might one day even do what smaller spots on Jupiter have done -- disappear completely.

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by Phew » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:49 pm

Every day is cyclone season pretty much everywhere on old Jove.

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by Rules For » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:47 pm

A shadow from one of Jupiter's moons is visible in the red belt up to the left of the Red Spot.

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by Karol Masztalerz » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:22 pm

Indeed, that's shadow of Io :)
Weather report: Windy with cyclones as everyday.

//Karol Masztalerz, Author

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by RJN » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:22 pm

This APOD did very well on Facebook, garnering, so far, 3.1K "Likes" and a "Reach" of over 120K, making it currently the second most popular APOD on FB this April. But why? I think there is a lesson buried here about about image popularity, and it would be insightful to uncover it. Any ideas? - RJN

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:29 pm

RJN wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:22 pm
This APOD did very well on Facebook, garnering, so far, 3.1K "Likes" and a "Reach" of over 120K, making it currently the second most popular APOD on FB this April. But why? I think there is a lesson buried here about about image popularity, and it would be insightful to uncover it. Any ideas? - RJN
Interesting, given that it appears about the least popular here in this forum. Anybody ever compare posting frequency on Asterisk to popularity in external forums?
Chris

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by RJN » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:56 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:29 pm
Interesting, given that it appears about the least popular here in this forum. Anybody ever compare posting frequency on Asterisk to popularity in external forums?
I think the lack of popularity in this forum is partly related to the fact that the Asterisk was down for several hours soon after this image posted. Past that, I don't think anyone has studied posting frequency versus popularity. Relatively few people who follow APOD in external forums like Facebook even know that this forum exists. Even so, I would guess there would be a relatively weak but positive correlation as topics and images that are interesting to one group are likely also interesting to other similar groups.

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by RJN » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:13 pm

I think the popularity of this image on FB is because it is a combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The familiar is the iconic disk of Jupiter, and the unfamiliar is that unusual red hue that colors the Great Red Spot and some of the belts. This red was derived, I am told from real infrared data. So although this color is "real" in some sense, Jupiter does not look this red to the human eye. But I think that if the image was colored using a muted pink instead of a vibrant blood red, it would have been significantly less popular.

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by RJN » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:41 pm

Last comment for now -- I am not saying that APOD prefers to feature images that are purposely somewhat unusual in the interest of popularity. In fact, I think APOD currently strives to feature important and inspiring astronomy images regardless of such effects. However, in due course, I thought I noticed an unusual residual effect in this image, and so I thought to call attention to it. - RJN

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by geckzilla » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:29 am

I think the social network system is complex enough that it is nearly impossible to determine what exactly gives it a high viral rating. Some of it is surely stochastic to some degree, as well. An owner of a popular account just happens to look at their screen at the right time, happens to like the image, and also happens to share it, and the time that they share it also happens to be a good time when lots of their followers are also at their computers... sometimes not just one popular account but several happen to share it... another factor is how "fresh" it seems in the current social media cycle... the variables are endless, I'm sure you know.
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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by RJN » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:48 pm

geckzilla wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:29 am
I think the social network system is complex enough that it is nearly impossible to determine what exactly gives it a high viral rating.
This is a fascinating topic that I think about a lot. The main reason I thought this image would do well on FB APOD was because it did so well on FB Sky. This image was one of the most popular images there over the past few weeks. Although I liked the image, that surprised me. Although APOD's not been lacking for Jupiter images recently, I decided to see if that FB Sky popularity was a fluke. It was not. I was able to use it to provide an update to the "shrinking Great Red Spot" story, which I hope was interesting to the APOD readership, although I know by now that the image itself is usually the strongest draw.

I think your assessment above is mostly correct, but that the reaction of "focus groups" can indicate potential virality better than intuition. This is like a microcosm of the movie industry. Some movies cost millions of dollars to make but bomb at the box office. Analogously, some images take a great deal of thought and effort to take and compose, but end up having little educational value or popularity. However, after they are made, playing movies (and images) pre-release before a focus group audience is usually a pretty reliable indicator of how well the movie will do at the box office, or an image will do on APOD. But of course, even then there are surprises.

Again, popularity or potential popularity is not the only factor determining which images are selected for APOD. But predicting popularity is an interesting topic for me nevertheless. (I sometimes think that APOD can even be used as a testbed to study, in a limited way, social popularity.)

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by neufer » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:24 pm

Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Hubble's Jupiter and the Shrinking... (2018 Apr 25)

Post by Karol Masztalerz » Tue May 08, 2018 4:13 pm

Actually, what I think brought the image the popularity is the vibrant red hue, I've processed this shot in such way that it stands out and immediately catches attention: Large disc of Jupiter, colors on verge of being max. saturated, extremely vibrant red which just catches attention, central framing, all of that combined makes it eye-catchy, and popularity on FB is mostly based on how catchy your photo is.


//Karol Masztalerz, the author.