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The Equatorial Region extends from 9° north to 9° south. Another prominent feature almost always seen with the NEB are the dark, bluish-gray projections on the southern edge of the NEB (NEBs), often with bluish-gray festoons trailing away from the projection into the Equatorial Zone. I have found that, even when the seeing is much less than perfect, most amateurs can observe and record these projections and festoons on the southern edge of the NEB (NEBs) with some reliability. Along with the barges of the NEBn and the GRS, these projections are among the most consistently observed features on the planet. The bluish-gray projections seen on the southern edge of the NEB move with the North Equatorial Current.

It seems during every apparition, several of these NEBs bluish-gray projections and festoons can be observed around the planet. Peek noted during one apparition that it was almost certain that, during a single hour of observation, at least one dark projection from the southern edge of the NEB would be recorded passing Jupiter's central meridian as the planet rotated on its axis [13]. Today, I still find this to be true on almost any night of observation. The dark projections are generally features that catch the eye immediately. According to Peek, they take many forms, from tiny humps or short spikes, to large elongated masses or streaks. The humps and spikes are often the points of departure of gray wisps or festoons, some of them most delicate and some quite conspicuous, that seem to issue forth from the south edge of the NEB and look as if they were dispersing like smoke in the Equatorial Zone [14]. I have had the pleasure of noting this wonderful appearance for myself on many occasions. During one observation that particularly stands out, Jupiter was at opposition and at its closest to Earth, with the seeing being near perfect. On that night, not only could several festoons be easily made out; but, so much detail could be seen inside the festoons, they appeared to have been braided! Most often, the seeing is not that good. During the apparitions of 1997, 1998, and 1999, festoons were very prominent and easily seen visually (Fig. 3.14). However, by 2002, the festoons had become thin and faint, and much more difficult to make out. Even their appearance in CCD images was remarkably unspectacular! By 2004, the festoons were becoming darker again and not quite so thin; thus, much easier to make out visually. Some of the bluish-gray projections, while not trailing prominently into the EZ, did display large, intense bases. That is to say, you could see a large, long bluish-gray feature lying on the southern edge of the NEB. This often gave the projection the appearance of a bluish-gray plateau, some nearly the length of the GRS itself, and quite easy to see (Fig. 3.15). Peek described this effect as "dark masses and streaks strikingly conspicuous and rectangular in outline" [15]. To an inexperienced or infrequent observer, these changes might not be so apparent.

To this day, no one ever described these bluish-gray NEBs features as poetically as Bertrand. M. Peek. Peek wrote, "The dark projections are generally features that catch the eye immediately. They take many forms, from tiny humps or short spikes to large elongated masses or streaks. The humps and spikes are often the points of

Fig. 3.14. In 1998, the bluish-gray projections and festoons were very prominent on the NEBs. Also note the fragmented, discontinuous STB. Jupiter on November 23, 1998. (Credit: Donald C. Parker).

CM1=148.6 CM2=330 8 CM3=104.9

Fig. 3.15. Prominent bluish-gray 'plateaus' on Jupiter's NEBs. Note the narrow NEB with a bright rift. The GRS has a very small, intense orange center. Jupiter on May 22, 2004. South is up. (Credit: Donald C. Parker).

Fig. 3.15. Prominent bluish-gray 'plateaus' on Jupiter's NEBs. Note the narrow NEB with a bright rift. The GRS has a very small, intense orange center. Jupiter on May 22, 2004. South is up. (Credit: Donald C. Parker).

departure of gray wisps or festoons, some of them most delicate and some quite conspicuous, that seem to issue from the S. edge of the belt and look as if they were dispersing like smoke in the Equatorial Zone. Frequently, however, they do not simply vanish but curve round (no apparent motion is implied by these attempts at simile) and return to the belt, almost certainly reaching it at a point where another projection appears. Sometimes a wisp will curve right over one projection and return to the second one following its point of departure. Quite often one of them will fork into both preceding and following directions; this may lead to the formation of a series of gray arches with light, or even bright, central regions, the whole presenting a most fascinating spectacle, and any such light oval area may contain a bright nucleus, which, however, is seldom to be found near its center but

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