Dynamics of Jupiter's Great Red Spot in the NIR filter (756 nm) of the Galileo imaging system. Each of the three frames is a mosaic of six images that have been map-projected to a uniform grid of latitude and longitude. North is at the top. There is a nine-hour separation between the first two frames and seventy minutes between the next two. All of the images were taken on June 26, 1996. The Red Spot is 20,000 km long and has been followed by observers on Earth since the telescope was invented 300 years ago. It is a huge storm made visible by variations in the composition of the cloud particles and the amount of cloud cover. Winds in the outer part of the Red Spot reach 250 mph while the center remains quiescent. These Galileo data will help scientists understand what drives this storm and why it persists for so many years.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo Image Credit: NASA/JPL