Mosaics of a belt-zone boundary near Jupiter's equator in violet (top panel) and near-infrared (bottom panel) light. The four images that make up each of these mosaics were taken within a few minutes of each other. Sunlight at 757 nanometers (near-infrared) penetrates deep into Jupiter's troposphere before being absorbed or scattered by clouds to the Galileo spacecraft. This wavelength reveals the features of the lower visible cloud deck. Sunlight at 415 nanometers (violet) is a scattered or absorbed to varying degrees in different parts of Jupiter's atmosphere depending on the types and concentrations of cloud particles and chemicals that color Jupiter's atmosphere. The near-infrared mosaic primarily shows cloud features. The violet mosaic has three distinct regions: it is brightest at the latitude of the jet (horizontally across the center of the mosaic), moderately bright north of the jet, and dark and patchy south of the jet.
North is at the top. The mosaic covers latitudes -13 to +3 degrees and is centered at longitude 282 degrees West. The smallest resolved features are tens of kilometers in size. These images were taken on November 5th, 1996, at a range of 1.2 million kilometers by the Solid State Imaging system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's 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. Image Credit: NASA/JPL