Jupiter: At The Belt-Zone Boundary
Credit: The Galileo Project, JPL, NASA
Explanation: Jupiter’s thick atmosphere is striped by wind-driven cloud bands that remain fixed in latitude - dark colored bands are known as belts while light colored bands are zones. At Jupiter’s belt-zone boundaries the shearing wind velocities can reach nearly 300 miles per hour. Near infrared images recently returned by the Galileo Spacecraft were mapped to visible colors in this close-up of a belt-zone boundary near the gas giant’s equator. The color mapping reveals different layers, lower clouds are bluish, higher ones pinkish. The smallest features seen are tens of miles across.