Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
March 10, 1997
Explanation: Jupiter's thick atmosphere is striped by wind-driven cloud bands that remain fixed in latitude - dark coloured bands are known as belts while light coloured bands are zones. At Jupiter's belt-zone boundaries the shearing wind velocities can reach nearly 300 miles per hour. Near infrared images recently returned by the Galileo Spacecraft were mapped to visible colours in this close-up of a belt-zone boundary near the gas giant's equator. The colour mapping reveals different layers, lower clouds are bluish, higher ones pinkish. The smallest features seen are tens of miles across.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.