Jupiter's appearance is usually dominated by two dark bands in its
atmosphere ? one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern
But recent images taken by amateur astronomers show that the southern band ?
called the south equatorial belt ? has disappeared.
The band was present at the end of 2009, right before Jupiter moved too
close to the sun in the sky to be observed from Earth. When the planet
emerged from the sun's glare again in early April, its south equatorial belt
was nowhere to be seen.