Comparison of Jupiter's Great Red Spot at four wavelengths. These mosaics (6 frames each) show the appearance of the Great Red Spot in violet light (415 nm, upper left), infrared light (757 nm, upper right), and infrared light within both a weak (732 nm, lower left) and a strong (886 nm, lower right) methane absorption band. The images were taken within minutes of each other. Reflected sunlight at each of these wavelengths penetrates to different depths and is scattered or absorbed by different atmospheric constituents before detection by Galileo.
The violet mosaic reveals the relative abundances of chemicals that color Jupiter's atmosphere. The three infrared images respectively probe higher in Jupiter's atmosphere. The highest features, such as the diffuse haze that overlies the Great Red Spot and the small clouds to the northeast of it, are most apparent on the 886 nm mosaic. North is to the top in all frames. Each pixel subtends a square about 30 kilometers on a side. The images were obtained on June 26, 1996 by the Solid State Imaging system on board NASA's Galileo spacecraft.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA'is Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo.