Turbulent Clouds on Jupiter
This color-enhanced shot of turbulent clouds on Jupiter is shedding more light on the weather and atmosphere on the planet (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran).
NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this shot from about 9,600 miles above the cloud tops. The brighter clouds are higher and the darker clouds are closer to the surface. NASA said, "the bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients." This discovery comes after lightning was detected near the poles, but not near the equator which is the exact opposite of Earth (Image Credit: Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/JunoCam)
From NASA: "This artist’s concept of lightning distribution in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere incorporates a JunoCam image with artistic embellishments. Data from NASA’s Juno mission indicates that most of the lightning activity on Jupiter is near its poles."
What does this all mean? These images are from Jupiter's Northern Hemisphere and give us an idea of how these features and the wind inside them move. NASA points out, "a bright oval at bottom center (in the top images) stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including additional structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the center." Stronger winds and lightning would suggest storm development on Jupiter similar to how we see storms develop on Earth.