Photos of the Sun

Jupiter's atmosphere. Asteroids, Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter's atmosphere. Asteroids, Jupiter and Saturn

This image of Jupiter was made from shots taken by the camera located on board the Cassini space probe. It is the most detailed global color shot ever obtained from the planet Jupiter, since the smallest observable details are 60 km long.

Although the Cassini camera can detect more colors than human eyes, the aspect that Jupiter shows in this image is what we would appreciate with the naked eye if we approached the planet, as this probe did at the end of 2000.

These images were obtained 10 million kilometers from Jupiter. The Cassini probe camera is digital. To make color images, the probe has a special filter wheel, located just in front of the camera.

All the details that can be seen on the planet correspond to its clouds. Parallel brown-reddish and white bands, white ovals and the Great Red Spot remain in the atmosphere for many years despite the intense turbulence to which it is subjected. The most energetic forms are the small white clouds located to the left of the Great Red Spot and in similar areas in the northern half of this planet. These clouds grow to disappear later in a few days, generating intense thunderstorms.

Unlike our planet, in which water condenses to form clouds, Jovian clouds are composed of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water. The rise and fall of this gaseous material mixes all these materials differently.

The brown and orange colors are due to elements from deeper areas of the atmosphere, or are byproducts of chemical reactions caused by solar ultraviolet light. The blue areas, located just north and south of the equator are places that have fewer clouds and are really showing us slightly deeper areas of the planet.

◄ PreviousNext ►
The planet JupiterAurora on Jupiter
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: Asteroids, Jupiter and Saturn