This movie is a time-interpolated, evenly spaced sequence of frames showing motions in Jupiter's atmosphere over the course of 5 days, from October 1 to October 5, 2000. The smallest features are about 500 km across. (Images from this time period were released by CICLOPS on October 5 and October 9. See below.)
Beginning with narrow angle camera blue filter images taken from the same 7 unevenly spaced Jupiter rotations shown in the movie above, this sequence was made using the zonal atmospheric wind profile derived from the real Cassini Jupiter images to create evenly spaced timesteps throughout. The final result is a smooth movie sequence consisting of both real and false frames. The region shown is a latitudinal band extending from 50 degrees north to 50 degrees south, and 100 degrees in longitudinal extent -- about one quarter of Jupiter's circumference -- on the side of the planet opposite to that depicted in the movie above. Towards the end of the sequence, the shadow of Europa appears.
(The still frame is one of the timesteps in the interpolated movie.)
The movie shows the remains of the historic merger that took place several years ago, when the three white ovals, which had existed for 60 years, rapidly merged into one. The resulting oval is visible in the lower left portion of the movie. Like the Great Red Spot, it is a high-pressure center in the southern hemisphere, but it is only half as large. The color difference between the white oval and the Red Spot is not well understood, but it is undoubtedly related to the updrafts and downwdrafts that carry chemicals to different heights in the two structures. The movie also shows the zonal jets that circle the planet on constant latitude. As in the movie above, winds to the west correspond to features that are rotating a little slower than the magnetic field, and winds to the east correspond to features that are rotating a little faster.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.