The swirling clouds of Jupiter’s atmosphere is one of the best demonstrations of convective flow in our Solar System.
This image, taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, and enhanced by Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran, displays Jupiter’s North North Temperate Belt as well as several white “pop-up” clouds and an anticyclonic storm. Jupiter’s signature belts are driven by Jupiter’s fast rotation, creating strong jet streams running opposing East-West directions. The opposing jet streams circulate columns of sulfur and phosphorus-containing gases, rising from the planet’s heated depths, falling as it cools at the surface, mixing with ammonia ice at the visible surface. This mixing of gases is what gives Jupiter it’s signature dynamic colors.
Juno was launched August 5, 2011 with the objective of shedding light on Jupiter’s origin and evolution, probing into the giant’s gaseous depths, and contributing to telling the story of other gas giants throughout the universe. Since it’s launch, Juno has already made discoveries about Jupiter’s interior structure, internal magnetic field, atmosphere, and magnetosphere.
The image was taken at 4:58 p.m. EDT on Oct. 29, 2018 on Juno’s 16th close flyby of Jupiter. For more information about the image visit the post.