Phenomena

Jupiter On Display

The rich detail of Jupiter’s atmosphere is on full display in this enhanced-color image from the Juno spacecraft. (Full resolution version here – trust me, you want to click that link.) To the north, on the left side of the image, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot swirls. To the center and right, the cloud bands of Jupiter’s southern region are coming into view. The color enhancements really highlight eddies on the edge of these bands. These are examples of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities caused by shear between cloud bands moving at different speeds. Within the bands, smaller vortices spin. Some of these are anti-cyclones, high-pressure storm systems found all over the planet. Jupiter’s atmosphere still holds many mysteries for scientists, but I love how every gorgeous image Juno sends back shows fluid physics written larger than life across our solar system’s biggest planet. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/G. Eichstädt /S. Doran; via Gizmodo)

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