Mosaic of Jupiter's northern hemisphere between 10 and 50 degrees latitude. Jupiter's atmospheric circulation is dominated by alternating eastward and westward jets from equatorial to polar latitudes. The direction and speed of these jets in part determine the color and texture of the clouds seen in this mosaic. Also visible are several other common Jovian cloud features, including large white ovals, bright spots, dark spots, interacting vortices, and turbulent chaotic systems. The north-south dimension of each of the two interacting vortices in the upper half of the mosaic is about 3500 kilometers.
Light at 889 nanometers is strongly absorbed by atmospheric methane. This mosaic shows the features of a hazy cloud layer tens of kilometers above Jupiter's main visible cloud deck. This haze varies in height but appears to be present over the entire region. Small patches of very bright clouds may be similar to terrestrial thunderstorms.
North is at the top. The images are projected on a sphere, with features being foreshortened towards the north. The planetary limb runs along the right edge of the mosaic. Cloud patterns appear foreshortened as they approach the limb. The smallest resolved features are tens of kilometers in size. These images were taken on April 3, 1997, at a range of 1.4 million kilometers by the Solid State Imaging system (CCD) on 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