Astronomy Picture of the Day

Jupiter's Clouds from New Horizons

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#104106 by @ 16.10.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Jupiter's Clouds from New Horizons


The New Horizons spacecraft took some stunning images of
Jupiter earlier this year while on the way out to Pluto.

Famous for its
Red Spot
Jupiter is also known for its regular, equatorial cloud bands,
visible through
even modest sized telescopes.

The above image was taken near Jupiter's
terminator, and shows that the
Jovian giant possibly has the widest diversity of
cloud patterns in our Solar System.

On the far left are clouds closest to Jupiter's south pole.

Here turbulent
and swirls are seen in a dark region,
dubbed a belt, that rings the planet.

Even light colored regions, called zones, show tremendous structure,
complete with
complex wave patterns.

The energy that drives these waves likely comes from below.

New Horizons
is the
fastest space probe
ever launched, and is zipping through the
Solar System
on track to reach Pluto in 2015.

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