Atmosphere of Jupiter

Atmosphere of Jupiter

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The atmosphere of Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

. It is mostly made of molecular hydrogen and helium
Helium
Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

 in roughly solar proportions; other chemical compounds are present only in small amounts and include methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

, ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

, hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of expired eggs perceptible at concentrations as low as 0.00047 parts per million...

 and water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

. Although water is thought to reside deep in the atmosphere, its directly measured concentration is very low. The oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

, nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

, sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

, and noble gas
Noble gas
The noble gases are a group of chemical elements with very similar properties: under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases, with very low chemical reactivity...

 abundances in Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

's atmosphere exceed solar values by a factor of about three.
The atmosphere of Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

 lacks a clear lower boundary and gradually transitions into the fluid interior of the planet. From lowest to highest, the atmospheric layers are the troposphere
Troposphere
The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols....

, stratosphere
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

, thermosphere
Thermosphere
The thermosphere is the biggest of all the layers of the Earth's atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and directly below the exosphere. Within this layer, ultraviolet radiation causes ionization. The International Space Station has a stable orbit within the middle of the thermosphere, between...

 and exosphere
Exosphere
The exosphere is the uppermost layer of Earth's atmosphere. In the exosphere, an upward travelling molecule moving fast enough to attain escape velocity can escape to space with a low chance of collisions; if it is moving below escape velocity it will be prevented from escaping from the celestial...

. Each layer has characteristic temperature gradient
Temperature gradient
A temperature gradient is a physical quantity that describes in which direction and at what rate the temperature changes the most rapidly around a particular location. The temperature gradient is a dimensional quantity expressed in units of degrees per unit length...

s. The lowest layer, the troposphere, has a complicated system of clouds and hazes, comprising layers of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide and water. The upper ammonia clouds visible at Jupiter's surface are organized in a dozen zonal
Zonal and meridional
The terms zonal and meridional are used to describe directions on a globe. Zonal means "along a latitude circle" or "in the west–east direction"; while meridional means "along a meridian" or "in the north–south direction"....

 bands parallel to the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 and are bounded by powerful zonal atmospheric flows (winds) known as jets. The bands alternate in color: the dark bands are called belts, while light ones are called zones. Zones, which are colder than belts, correspond to upwellings, while belts mark descending air. The zones' lighter color is believed to result from ammonia ice; what gives the belts their darker colors is not known with certainty. The origins of the banded structure and jets are not well understood, though two models exist. The shallow model holds that they are surface phenomena overlaying a stable interior. In the deep model, the bands and jets are just surface manifestations of deep circulation in Jupiter's mantle
Mantle (geology)
The mantle is a part of a terrestrial planet or other rocky body large enough to have differentiation by density. The interior of the Earth, similar to the other terrestrial planets, is chemically divided into layers. The mantle is a highly viscous layer between the crust and the outer core....

 of molecular hydrogen, which is organized in a number of cylinders.

The Jovian atmosphere shows a wide range of active phenomena, including band instabilities, vortices (cyclone
Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

s and anticyclone
Anticyclone
An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States' National Weather Service's glossary as "[a] large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere"...

s), storms and lightning. The vortices reveal themselves as large red, white or brown spots (ovals). The largest two spots are the Great Red Spot (GRS) and Oval BA, which is also red. These two and most of the other large spots are anticyclonic. Smaller anticyclones tend to be white. Vortices are thought to be relatively shallow structures with depths not exceeding several hundred kilometers. Located in the southern hemisphere, the GRS is the largest known vortex in the Solar System. It could engulf several Earths and has existed for at least three hundred years. Oval BA, south of GRS, is a red spot a third the size of GRS that formed in 2000 from the merging of three white ovals.

Jupiter has powerful storms, always accompanied by lightning strikes. The storms are a result of moist convection in the atmosphere connected to the evaporation and condensation of water. They are sites of strong upward motion of the air, which leads to the formation of bright and dense clouds. The storms form mainly in belt regions. The lightning strikes on Jupiter are more powerful than those on Earth. However, there are fewer of them, and the average levels of lightning activity are comparable to those on Earth.

Vertical structure



The atmosphere of Jupiter is classified into four layers, by increasing altitude: the troposphere
Troposphere
The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols....

, stratosphere
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

, thermosphere
Thermosphere
The thermosphere is the biggest of all the layers of the Earth's atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and directly below the exosphere. Within this layer, ultraviolet radiation causes ionization. The International Space Station has a stable orbit within the middle of the thermosphere, between...

 and exosphere
Exosphere
The exosphere is the uppermost layer of Earth's atmosphere. In the exosphere, an upward travelling molecule moving fast enough to attain escape velocity can escape to space with a low chance of collisions; if it is moving below escape velocity it will be prevented from escaping from the celestial...

. Unlike the Earth's atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

, Jupiter's lacks a mesosphere
Mesosphere
The mesosphere is the layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. In the mesosphere temperature decreases with increasing height. The upper boundary of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring...

. Jupiter does not have a solid surface, and the lowest atmospheric layer, the troposphere, smoothly transitions into the planet's fluid interior. This is a result of having temperatures and the pressures well above those of the critical point
Critical point (thermodynamics)
In physical chemistry, thermodynamics, chemistry and condensed matter physics, a critical point, also called a critical state, specifies the conditions at which a phase boundary ceases to exist...

s for hydrogen and helium, meaning that there is no sharp boundary between gas and liquid phases. Hydrogen becomes a supercritical fluid
Supercritical fluid
A supercritical fluid is any substance at a temperature and pressure above its critical point, where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist. It can effuse through solids like a gas, and dissolve materials like a liquid...

 at around 12 bars pressure.

Since the lower boundary of the atmosphere is ill-defined, the pressure level of 10 bar
Bar (unit)
The bar is a unit of pressure equal to 100 kilopascals, and roughly equal to the atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level. Other units derived from the bar are the megabar , kilobar , decibar , centibar , and millibar...

s, at an altitude of about 90 km below the 1 bar with a temperature of around 340 K
Kelvin
The kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units and is assigned the unit symbol K. The Kelvin scale is an absolute, thermodynamic temperature scale using as its null point absolute zero, the temperature at which all...

, is commonly treated as the base of the troposphere. In scientific literature, the 1 bar pressure level is usually chosen as a zero point for altitudes—a "surface" of Jupiter. As with Earth, the top atmospheric layer, the exosphere, does not have a well defined upper boundary. The density gradually decreases until it smoothly transitions into the interplanetary medium
Interplanetary medium
The interplanetary medium is the material which fills the solar system and through which all the larger solar system bodies such as planets, asteroids and comets move.-Composition and physical characteristics:...

 approximately 5,000 km above the "surface".

The vertical temperature variations in the Jovian atmosphere are similar to those of the atmosphere of Earth. The temperature of the troposphere decreases with height until it reaches a minimum at the tropopause
Tropopause
The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.-Definition:Going upward from the surface, it is the point where air ceases to cool with height, and becomes almost completely dry...

, which is the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere. On Jupiter, the tropopause is approximately 50 km above the visible clouds (or 1 bar level), where the pressure and temperature are about 0.1 bar and 110 K. In the stratosphere, the temperatures rise to about 200 K at the transition into the thermosphere, at an altitude and pressure of around 320 km and 1 μbar. In the thermosphere, temperatures continue to rise, eventually reaching 1000 K at about 1000 km, where pressure is about 1 nbar.

Jupiter's troposphere contains a complicated cloud structure. The upper clouds, located in the pressure range 0.6–0.9 bar, are made of ammonia ice. Below these ammonia ice clouds, denser clouds made of ammonium hydrosulfide or ammonium sulfide
Ammonium sulfide
Ammonium hydrosulfide is the chemical compound with the formula SH. It is the salt derived from the ammonium cation and the hydrosulfide anion. The salt exists as colourless, water soluble, micaceous crystals. The compound is encountered mainly as a solution, not as the solid...

 (between 1–2 bar) and water (3–7 bar) are thought to exist. There are no methane clouds as the temperatures are too high for it to condense. The water clouds form the densest layer of clouds and have the strongest influence on the dynamics of the atmosphere. This is a result of the higher condensation heat of water and higher water abundance as compared to the ammonia and hydrogen sulfide (oxygen is a more abundant chemical element than either nitrogen or sulfur). Various tropospheric (at 200–500 mbar) and stratospheric (at 10–100 mbar) haze layers reside above the main cloud layers. The latter are made from condensed heavy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , also known as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, are potent atmospheric pollutants that consist of fused aromatic rings and do not contain heteroatoms or carry substituents. Naphthalene is the simplest example of a PAH...

s or hydrazine
Hydrazine
Hydrazine is an inorganic compound with the formula N2H4. It is a colourless flammable liquid with an ammonia-like odor. Hydrazine is highly toxic and dangerously unstable unless handled in solution. Approximately 260,000 tons are manufactured annually...

, which are generated in the upper stratosphere (1–100 μbar) from methane under the influence of the solar ultraviolet radiation (UV). The methane abundance relative to molecular hydrogen in the stratosphere is about 10−4, while the abundance ratio of other light hydrocarbons, like ethane and acetylene, to molecular hydrogen is about 10−6.

Jupiter's thermosphere is located at pressures lower than 1 μbar and demonstrates such phenomena as airglow
Airglow
Airglow is the very weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. In the case of Earth's atmosphere, this optical phenomenon causes the night sky to never be completely dark .-Development:The airglow phenomenon was first identified in 1868 by Swedish scientist...

, polar aurorae
Aurora (astronomy)
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere...

 and X-ray
X-ray
X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

 emissions. Within it lie layers of increased electron and ion density that form the ionosphere
Ionosphere
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere...

. The high temperatures prevalent in the thermosphere (800–1000 K) have not been fully explained yet; existing models predict a temperature no higher than about 400 K. They may be caused by absorption of high-energy solar radiation (UV or X-ray), by heating from the charged particles precipitating from the Jovian magnetosphere, or by dissipation of upward-propagating gravity wave
Gravity wave
In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media which has the restoring force of gravity or buoyancy....

s. The thermosphere and exosphere at the poles and at low latitudes emit X-rays, which were first observed by the Einstein Observatory
Einstein Observatory
Einstein Observatory was the first fully imaging X-ray telescope put into space and the second of NASA's three High Energy Astrophysical Observatories...

 in 1983. The energetic particles coming from Jupiter's magnetosphere create bright auroral ovals, which encircle the poles. Unlike their terrestrial analogs, which appear only during magnetic storm
Magnetic storm
Magnetic storm can refer to:* A geomagnetic storm* Magnetic Storm , the title of a book of paintings by Roger Dean* Magnetic Storm , the title of an hourlong PBS NOVA documentary about Earth's changing magnetic fields...

s, aurorae are permanent features of Jupiter's atmosphere. The thermosphere was the first place outside the Earth where the trihydrogen cation  was discovered. This ion emits strongly in the mid-infrared part of the spectrum, at wavelengths between 3 and 5 μm; this is the main cooling mechanism of the thermosphere.

Chemical composition


The composition of Jupiter's atmosphere is similar to that of the planet as a whole. Jupiter's atmosphere is the most comprehensively understood of those of all the gas giant
Gas giant
A gas giant is a large planet that is not primarily composed of rock or other solid matter. There are four gas giants in the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune...

s because it was observed directly by the Galileo atmospheric probe when it entered the Jovian atmosphere on December 7, 1995. Other sources of information about Jupiter's atmospheric composition include the Infrared Space Observatory
Infrared Space Observatory
The Infrared Space Observatory was a space telescope for infrared light designed and operated by the European Space Agency , in cooperation with ISAS and NASA...

(ISO), the Galileo and Cassini orbiters, and Earth-based observations.

The two main constituents of the Jovian atmosphere are molecular hydrogen  and helium
Helium
Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

. The helium abundance is relative to molecular hydrogen by number of molecules, and its mass fraction is , which is slightly lower than the solar system's primordial value. The reason for this low abundance is not entirely understood, but, being denser than hydrogen, some of the helium may have condensed into the core of Jupiter. The atmosphere contains various simple compounds such as water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

 (CH4), hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of expired eggs perceptible at concentrations as low as 0.00047 parts per million...

 (H2S), ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 (NH3) and phosphine
Phosphine
Phosphine is the compound with the chemical formula PH3. It is a colorless, flammable, toxic gas. Pure phosphine is odourless, but technical grade samples have a highly unpleasant odor like garlic or rotting fish, due to the presence of substituted phosphine and diphosphine...

 (PH3). Their abundances in the deep (below 10 bar) troposphere imply that the atmosphere of Jupiter is enriched in the elements carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

, nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

, sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 and possibly oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

by factor of 2–4 relative to the Sun. The noble gases argon
Argon
Argon is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ar. Argon has atomic number 18 and is the third element in group 18 of the periodic table . Argon is the third most common gas in the Earth's atmosphere, at 0.93%, making it more common than carbon dioxide...

, krypton
Krypton
Krypton is a chemical element with the symbol Kr and atomic number 36. It is a member of Group 18 and Period 4 elements. A colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, krypton occurs in trace amounts in the atmosphere, is isolated by fractionally distilling liquified air, and is often used with other...

 and xenon
Xenon
Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. The element name is pronounced or . A colorless, heavy, odorless noble gas, xenon occurs in the Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts...

 appear to be enriched relative to solar abundances as well (see table), while neon
Neon
Neon is the chemical element that has the symbol Ne and an atomic number of 10. Although a very common element in the universe, it is rare on Earth. A colorless, inert noble gas under standard conditions, neon gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when used in either low-voltage neon glow lamps or...

 is scarcer. Other chemical compounds such as arsine
Arsine
Arsine is the chemical compound with the formula AsH3. This flammable, pyrophoric, and highly toxic gas is one of the simplest compounds of arsenic...

 (AsH3) and germane
Germane
Germane is the chemical compound with the formula GeH4, and the germanium analogue of methane. It is the simplest germanium hydride and one of the most useful compounds of germanium. Like the related compounds silane and methane, germane is tetrahedral. It burns in air to produce GeO2 and...

 (GeH4) are present only in trace amounts. The upper atmosphere of Jupiter contains small amounts of simple hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

s such as ethane
Ethane
Ethane is a chemical compound with chemical formula C2H6. It is the only two-carbon alkane that is an aliphatic hydrocarbon. At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless, odorless gas....

, acetylene
Acetylene
Acetylene is the chemical compound with the formula C2H2. It is a hydrocarbon and the simplest alkyne. This colorless gas is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is unstable in pure form and thus is usually handled as a solution.As an alkyne, acetylene is unsaturated because...

, and diacetylene
Diacetylene
Diacetylene , with the formula C4H2, is a highly unsaturated hydrocarbon that contains three single bonds and two triple bonds. It is the first in the series of polyynes.-Occurrence:...

, which form from methane under the influence of the solar ultraviolet radiation and charged particles coming from Jupiter's magnetosphere. The carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

, carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide , also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal...

 and water present in the upper atmosphere are thought to originate from impacting comet
Comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

s, such as Shoemaker-Levy 9
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was a comet that broke apart and collided with Jupiter in July 1994, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of solar system objects. This generated a large amount of coverage in the popular media, and the comet was closely observed by...

. The water cannot come from the troposphere because the cold tropopause
Tropopause
The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.-Definition:Going upward from the surface, it is the point where air ceases to cool with height, and becomes almost completely dry...

 acts like a cold trap, effectively preventing water from rising to the stratosphere
Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler...

 (see Vertical structure above).

Earth- and spacecraft-based measurements have led to improved knowledge of the isotopic ratios
Isotope geochemistry
Isotope geochemistry is an aspect of geology based upon study of the relative and absolute concentrations of the elements and their isotopes in the Earth. Variations in the abundance of these isotopes, typically measured with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer or an accelerator mass spectrometer,...

 in Jupiter's atmosphere. As of July 2003, the accepted value for the deuterium
Deuterium
Deuterium, also called heavy hydrogen, is one of two stable isotopes of hydrogen. It has a natural abundance in Earth's oceans of about one atom in of hydrogen . Deuterium accounts for approximately 0.0156% of all naturally occurring hydrogen in Earth's oceans, while the most common isotope ...

 abundance is , which probably represents the primordial value in the protosolar nebula that gave birth to the Solar System. The ratio of nitrogen isotopes in the Jovian atmosphere, 15N to 14N, is 2.3, a third lower than that in the Earth's atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

 (3.5). The latter discovery is especially significant since the previous theories of Solar System formation
Formation and evolution of the Solar System
The formation and evolution of the Solar System is estimated to have begun 4.568 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud...

 considered the terrestrial value for the ratio of nitrogen isotopes to be primordial.

Zones, belts and jets



The visible surface of Jupiter is divided in a number of bands parallel to the equator. There are two types of bands: lightly colored zones and relatively dark belts. The wide Equatorial Zone
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 (EZ) extends between latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

s of approximately 7°S to 7°N. Above and below the EZ, the North and South Equatorial belts (NEB and SEB) extend to 18°N and 18°S, respectively. Farther from the equator lie the North and South Tropical zones (NtrZ and STrZ). The alternating pattern of belts and zones continues until the polar regions at approximately 50 degrees latitude, where their visible appearance becomes somewhat muted. The basic belt-zone structure probably extends well towards the poles, reaching at least to 80° North or South.

The difference in the appearance between zones and belts is caused by differences in the opacity of the clouds. Ammonia concentration is higher in zones, which leads to the appearance of denser clouds of ammonia ice at higher altitudes, which in turn leads to their lighter color. On the other hand, in belts clouds are thinner and are located at lower altitudes. The upper troposphere is colder in zones and warmer in belts. The exact nature of chemicals that make Jovian zones and bands so colorful is not known, but they may include complicated compounds of sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

, phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

 and carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

.

The Jovian bands are bounded by zonal atmospheric flows (winds), called jets. The westward (retrograde
Retrograde and direct motion
Apparent retrograde motion is the motion of a planetary body in a direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system as observed from a particular vantage point...

) jets are found at the transition from zones to belts (going away from the equator), whereas eastward (prograde) jets mark the transition from belts to zones. Such flow velocity patterns mean that the zonal winds decrease in belts and increase in zones from the equator to the pole. Therefore wind shear
Wind shear
Wind shear, sometimes referred to as windshear or wind gradient, is a difference in wind speed and direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere...

 in belts is cyclonic
Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

, while in zones it is anticyclonic
Anticyclone
An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States' National Weather Service's glossary as "[a] large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere"...

. The EZ is an exception to this rule, showing a strong eastward (prograde) jet and has a local minimum of the wind speed exactly at the equator. The jet speeds are high on Jupiter, reaching more than 100 m/s. These speeds correspond to ammonia clouds located in the pressure range 0.7–1 bar. The prograde jets are generally more powerful than the retrograde jets. The vertical extent of jets is not known. They decay over two to three scale height
Scale height
In various scientific contexts, a scale height is a distance over which a quantity decreases by a factor of e...

s above the clouds, while below the cloud level, winds increase slightly and then remain constant down to at least 22 bar—the maximum operational depth reached by the Galileo probe.

The origin of Jupiter's banded structure is not completely clear, though it may be similar to that driving the Earth's Hadley cell
Hadley cell
The Hadley cell, named after George Hadley, is a circulation pattern that dominates the tropical atmosphere, with rising motion near the equator, poleward flow 10–15 kilometers above the surface, descending motion in the subtropics, and equatorward flow near the surface...

s. The simplest interpretation is that zones are sites of atmospheric upwelling
Upwelling
Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. The increased availability in upwelling regions results in high levels of primary...

, whereas belts are manifestations of downwelling
Downwelling
Downwelling is the process of accumulation and sinking of higher density material beneath lower density material, such as cold or saline water beneath warmer or fresher water or cold air beneath warm air. It is the sinking limb of a convection cell. Upwelling is the opposite process and together...

. When air enriched in ammonia rises in zones, it expands and cools, forming high and dense clouds. In belts, however, the air descends, warming adiabatic
Adiabatic process
In thermodynamics, an adiabatic process or an isocaloric process is a thermodynamic process in which the net heat transfer to or from the working fluid is zero. Such a process can occur if the container of the system has thermally-insulated walls or the process happens in an extremely short time,...

ally, and white ammonia clouds evaporate, revealing lower, darker clouds. The location and width of bands, speed and location of jets on Jupiter are remarkably stable, having changed only slightly between 1980 and 2000. One example of change is a decrease of the speed of the strongest eastward jet located at the boundary between the North Tropical zone and North Temperate belts at 23°N. However bands vary in coloration and intensity over time (see below).

Specific bands



The belts and zones that divide Jupiter's atmosphere each have their own names and unique characteristics. They begin below the North and South Polar Regions, which extend from the poles to roughly 40–48° N/S. These bluish-gray regions are usually featureless.

The North North Temperate Region rarely shows more detail than the polar regions, due to limb darkening
Limb darkening
Limb darkening refers to the diminishing of intensity in the image of a star as one moves from the center of the image to the edge or "limb" of the image...

, foreshortening, and the general diffuseness of features. That said, the North-North Temperate Belt (NNTB) is the northernmost distinct belt, though it occasionally "disappears". Disturbances tend to be minor and short-lived. The North-North Temperate Zone (NNTZ) is perhaps more prominent, but also generally quiet. Other minor belts and zones in the region are occasionally observed.

The North Temperate Region is part of a latitudinal region easily observable from Earth, and thus has a superb record of observation. It also features the strongest prograde jet stream
Jet stream
Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. The main jet streams are located near the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere and the stratosphere . The major jet streams on Earth are westerly winds...

 on the planet—a westerly current that forms the southern boundary of the North Temperate Belt (NTB). The NTB fades roughly once a decade (this was the case during the Voyager encounters), making the North Temperate Zone (NTZ) apparently merge into the North Tropical Zone (NTropZ). Other times, the NTZ is divided by a narrow belt into northern and southern components.

The North Tropical Region is composed of the NTropZ and the North Equatorial Belt (NEB). The NTropZ is generally stable in coloration, changing in tint only in tandem with activity on the NTB's southern jet stream. Like the NTZ, it too is sometimes divided by a narrow band, the NTropB. On rare occasions, the southern NTropZ plays host to "Little Red Spots". As the name suggests, these are northern equivalents of the Great Red Spot. Unlike the GRS, they tend to occur in pairs and are always short-lived, lasting a year on average; one was present during the Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10 is a 258-kilogram robotic space probe that completed the first interplanetary mission to Jupiter, and became the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System. The project was managed by the NASA Ames Research Center and the contract for the construction of the...

encounter.

The NEB is one of the most active belts on the planet. It is characterized by anticyclonic white ovals and cyclonic "barges" (also known as "brown ovals"), with the former usually forming farther north than the latter; as in the NTropZ, most of these features are relatively short-lived. Like the South Equatorial Belt (SEB), the NEB has sometimes dramatically faded and "revived". The timescale of these changes is about 25 years.
The Equatorial Region (EZ) is one of the more stable regions of the planet, in latitude and in activity. The northern edge of the EZ hosts spectacular plumes that trail southwest from the NEB, which are bounded by dark, warm (in infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

) features known as festoons (hot spots). Though the southern boundary of the EZ is usually quiescent, observations from the late 19th into the early 20th century show that this pattern was then reversed relative to today. The EZ varies considerably in coloration, from pale to an ochre
Ochre
Ochre is the term for both a golden-yellow or light yellow brown color and for a form of earth pigment which produces the color. The pigment can also be used to create a reddish tint known as "red ochre". The more rarely used terms "purple ochre" and "brown ochre" also exist for variant hues...

, or even coppery hue; it is occasionally divided by an Equatorial Band (EB). Features in the EZ move roughly 390 km/h relative to the other latitudes.

The South Tropical Region includes the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) and the South Tropical Zone. It is by far the most active region the planet, as it is home to its strongest retrograde
Retrograde and direct motion
Apparent retrograde motion is the motion of a planetary body in a direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system as observed from a particular vantage point...

 jet stream. The SEB is usually the broadest, darkest belt on Jupiter; however, it is sometimes split by a zone (the SEBZ), and can fade entirely every 3 to 15 years before reappearing in what is known as an SEB Revival cycle. A period of weeks or months following the belt's disappearance, a white spot forms and erupts dark brownish material which is stretched into a new belt by Jupiter's winds. The belt most recently disappeared in May, 2010. Another characteristic of the SEB is a long train of cyclonic disturbances following the Great Red Spot. Like the NTropZ, the STropZ is one of the most prominent zones on the planet; not only does it contain the GRS, but it is occasionally rent by a South Tropical Disturbance (STropD), a division of the zone that can be very long-lived; the most famous one lasted from 1901 to 1939.

The South Temperate Region, or South Temperate Belt (STB), is yet another dark, prominent belt, more so than the NTB; until March 2000, its most famous features were the long-lived white ovals BC, DE, and FA, which have since merged to form Oval BA ("Red Jr."). The ovals actually were part of South Temperate Zone, but they extended into STB partially blocking it. The STB has occasionally faded, apparently due to complex interactions between the white ovals and the GRS. The appearance of the South Temperate Zone (STZ)—the zone in which the white ovals originated—is highly variable.

There are a number of other features on Jupiter that are either temporary or difficult to observe from Earth. The South South Temperate Region is harder to discern even than the NNTR; its detail is subtle and can only be studied well by large telescopes or spacecraft. Many zones and belts are more transient in nature and are not always visible. These include the Equatorial band (EB), North Equatorial belt zone (NEBZ, a white zone within the belt) and South Equatorial belt zone (SEBZ). Belts are also occasionally split by a sudden disturbance. When a disturbance divides a normally singular belt or zone, an N or an S is added to indicate whether the component is the northern or southern one; e.g., NEB(N) and NEB(S).

Dynamics


Circulation in Jupiter's atmosphere is markedly different from that in the atmosphere of Earth
Atmospheric circulation
Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, and the means by which thermal energy is distributed on the surface of the Earth....

. The interior of Jupiter is fluid and lacks any solid surface. Therefore, convection
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

 may occur throughout the planet's outer molecular envelope. As of 2008, a comprehensive theory of the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere has not been developed. Any such theory needs to explain the following facts: the existence of narrow stable bands and jets that are symmetric relative to Jupiter's equator, the strong prograde jet observed at the equator, the difference between zones and belts, and the origin and persistence of large vortices such as the Great Red Spot.

The theories regarding the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere can be broadly divided into two classes: shallow and deep. The former hold that the observed circulation is largely confined to a thin outer (weather) layer of the planet, which overlays the stable interior. The latter hypothesis postulates that the observed atmospheric flows are only a surface manifestation of deeply rooted circulation in the outer molecular envelope of Jupiter. As both theories have their own successes and failures, many planetary scientists actually think that the true theory will include elements of both models.

Shallow models


The first attempts to explain Jovian atmospheric dynamics date back to the 1960s. They were partly based on terrestrial meteorology
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, which was well developed at that time. Those shallow models assumed that the jets on Jupiter are driven by small scale turbulence
Turbulence
In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic and stochastic property changes. This includes low momentum diffusion, high momentum convection, and rapid variation of pressure and velocity in space and time...

, which is in turn maintained by moist convection in the outer layer of the atmosphere (above the water clouds). The moist convection is a phenomenon related to the condensation and evaporation of water and is one of the major drivers of terrestrial weather. The production of the jets in this model is related to a well-known property of two dimensional turbulence—the so-called inverse cascade, in which small turbulent structures (vortices) merge to form larger ones. The finite size of the planet means that the cascade can not produce structures larger than some characteristic scale, which for Jupiter is called the Rhines scale. Its existence is connected to production of Rossby wave
Rossby wave
Atmospheric Rossby waves are giant meanders in high-altitude winds that are a major influence on weather.They are not to be confused with oceanic Rossby waves, which move along the thermocline: that is, the boundary between the warm upper layer of the ocean and the cold deeper part of the...

s. This process works as follows: when the largest turbulent structures reach a certain size, the energy begins to flow into Rossby waves instead of larger structures, and the inverse cascade stops. Since on the spherical rapidly rotating planet the dispersion relation
Dispersion relation
In physics and electrical engineering, dispersion most often refers to frequency-dependent effects in wave propagation. Note, however, that there are several other uses of the word "dispersion" in the physical sciences....

 of the Rossby waves is anisotropic, the Rhines scale in the direction parallel to the equator is larger than in the direction orthogonal to it. The ultimate result of the process described above is production of large scale elongated structures, which are parallel to the equator. The meridional extent of them appears to match the actual width of jets. Therefore in shallow models vortices actually feed the jets and should disappear by merging into them.

While these weather–layer models can successfully explain the existence of a dozen narrow jets, they have serious problems. A glaring failure of the model is the prograde (super-rotating) equatorial jet: with some rare exceptions shallow models produce a strong retrograde (subrotating) jet, contrary to observations. In addition, the jets tend to be unstable and can disappear over time. Shallow models cannot explain how the observed atmospheric flows on Jupiter violate stability criteria. More elaborated multilayer versions of weather–layer models produce more stable circulation, but many problems persist. Meanwhile, the Galileo probe found that the winds on Jupiter extend well below the water clouds at 5–7 bar and do not show any evidence of decay down to 22 bar pressure level, which implies that circulation in the Jovian atmosphere may in fact be deep.

Deep models


The deep model was first proposed by Busse in 1976. His model was based on another well-known feature of fluid mechanics, the Taylor–Proudman theorem
Taylor–Proudman theorem
In fluid mechanics, the Taylor–Proudman theorem states that when a solid body is moved slowly within a fluid that is steadily rotated with a high \Omega, the fluid velocity will be uniform along any line parallel to the axis of rotation...

. It holds that in any fast-rotating barotropic
Barotropic
In meteorology, a barotropic atmosphere is one in which the pressure depends only on the density and vice versa, so that isobaric surfaces are also isopycnic surfaces . The isobaric surfaces will also be isothermal surfaces, hence the geostrophic wind is independent of height...

 ideal liquid, the flows are organized in a series of cylinders parallel to the rotational axis. The conditions of the theorem are probably met in the fluid Jovian interior. Therefore the planet's molecular hydrogen mantle may be divided into a number of cylinders, each cylinder having a circulation independent of the others. Those latitudes where the cylinders' outer and inner boundaries intersect with the visible surface of the planet correspond to the jets; the cylinders themselves are observed as zones and belts.

The deep model easily explains the strong prograde jet observed at the equator of Jupiter; the jets it produces are stable and do not obey the 2D stability criterion. However it has major difficulties; it produces a very small number of broad jets, and realistic simulations of 3D flows are not possible as of 2008, meaning that the simplified models used to justify deep circulation may fail to catch important aspects of the fluid dynamics
Fluid mechanics
Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; fluid kinematics, the study of fluids in motion; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion...

 within Jupiter. One model published in 2004 successfully reproduced the Jovian band-jet structure. It assumed that the molecular hydrogen mantle is thinner than in all other models; occupying only the outer 10% of Jupiter's radius. In standard models of the Jovian interior, the mantle comprises the outer 20–30%. The driving of deep circulation is another problem. In fact, the deep flows can be caused both by shallow forces (moist convection, for instance) or by deep planet-wide convection that transports heat out of the Jovian interior. Which of these mechanisms is more important is not clear yet.

Internal heat


As has been known since 1966, Jupiter radiates much more heat than it receives from the Sun. It is estimated that the ratio between the power emitted by the planet and that absorbed from the Sun is . The internal heat flux
Heat flux
Heat flux or thermal flux is the rate of heat energy transfer through a given surface. The SI derived unit of heat rate is joule per second, or watt. Heat flux is the heat rate per unit area. In SI units, heat flux is measured in W/m2]. Heat rate is a scalar quantity, while heat flux is a vectorial...

 from Jupiter is , whereas the total emitted power is . The latter value is approximately equal to one billionth of the total power radiated by the Sun. This excess heat is mainly the primordial heat from the early phases of Jupiter's formation, but may result in part from the precipitation of helium into the core.

The internal heat may be important for the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere. While Jupiter has a small obliquity of about 3°, and its poles receive much less solar radiation than its equator, the tropospheric temperatures do not change appreciably from the equator to poles. One explanation is that Jupiter's convective interior acts like a thermostat, releasing more heat near the poles than in the equatorial region. This leads to a uniform temperature in the troposphere. While heat is transported from the equator to the poles mainly via the atmosphere
Atmospheric circulation
Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, and the means by which thermal energy is distributed on the surface of the Earth....

 on Earth, on Jupiter deep convection equilibrates heat. The convection in the Jovian interior is thought to be driven mainly by the internal heat.

Vortices


The atmosphere of Jupiter is home to hundreds of vortices
Vortex
A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent,flow of fluid. Any spiral motion with closed streamlines is vortex flow. The motion of the fluid swirling rapidly around a center is called a vortex...

—circular rotating structures that, as in the Earth’s atmosphere, can be divided into two classes: cyclone
Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

s and anticyclone
Anticyclone
An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States' National Weather Service's glossary as "[a] large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere"...

s. The former rotate in the direction similar to the rotation of the planet (counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise
Clockwise
Circular motion can occur in two possible directions. A clockwise motion is one that proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back to the top...

 in the southern); the latter rotate in the reverse direction. However a major difference from the terrestrial atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

 is that, in the Jovian atmosphere, anticyclones dominate over cyclones, as more than 90% of vortices larger than 2000 km in diameter are anticyclones. The lifetime of vortices varies from several days to hundreds of years depending on their size. For instance, the average lifetime of anticyclones with diameters from 1000 to 6000 km is 1–3 years. Vortices have never been observed in the equatorial region of Jupiter (within 10° of latitude), where they are unstable. As on any rapidly rotating planet, Jupiter's anticyclones are high pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

 centers, while cyclones are low pressure.

The anticyclones in Jupiter's atmosphere are always confined within zones, where the wind speed increases in direction from the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 to the poles. They are usually bright and appear as white ovals. They can move in longitude
Longitude
Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

, but stay at approximately the same latitude as they are unable to escape from the confining zone. The wind speeds at their periphery are about 100 m/s. Different anticyclones located in one zone tend to merge, when they approach each other. However Jupiter has two anticyclones that are somewhat different from all others. They are the Great Red Spot (GRS) and the Oval BA; the latter formed only in 2000. In contrast to white ovals, these structures are red, arguably due to dredging up of red material from the planet's depths. On Jupiter the anticyclones usually form through merges of smaller structures including convective storms (see below), although large ovals can result from the instability of jets. The latter was observed in 1938–1940, when a few white ovals appeared as a result of instability of the southern temperate zone; they later merged to form Oval BA.

In contrast to anticyclones, the Jovian cyclones tend to be small, dark and irregular structures. Some of the darker and more regular features are known as brown ovals (or badges). However the existence of a few long–lived large cyclones has been suggested. In addition to compact cyclones, Jupiter has several large irregular filamentary patches, which demonstrate cyclonic rotation. One of them is located to the west of the GRS (in its wake
Wake
A wake is the region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving or stationary solid body, caused by the flow of surrounding fluid around the body.-Fluid dynamics:...

 region) in the southern equatorial belt. These patches are called cyclonic regions (CR). The cyclones are always located in the belts and tend to merge when they encounter each other, much like anticyclones.

The deep structure of vortices is not completely clear. They are thought to be relatively thin, as any thickness greater than about 500 km will lead to instability. The large anticyclones are known to extend only a few tens of kilometers above the visible clouds. The early hypothesis that the vortices are deep convective plume
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

s (or convective columns) as of 2008 is not shared by the majority of planetary scientist
Planetary science
Planetary science is the scientific study of planets , moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation,...

s.

Great Red Spot



The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a persistent anticyclonic storm
Anticyclonic storm
An anticyclonic storm is a weather storm where winds around the storm flow contrary to the direction dictated by the Coriolis effect about a region of low pressure. In the northern hemisphere, anticyclonic storms involve clockwise wind flow; in the southern hemisphere, they involve counterclockwise...

, 22° south of Jupiter's equator, which has lasted for at least years and possibly longer than years. The storm is large enough to be visible through Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

-based telescope
Telescope
A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

s.

The GRS rotates counterclockwise, with a period of about six Earth days or 14 Jovian days. Its dimensions are 24–40,000 km west–to–east and 12–14,000 km south–to–north. The spot is large enough to contain two or three planets the size of Earth. At the start of 2004, the Great Red Spot had approximately half the longitudinal extent it had a century ago, when it was 40,000 km in diameter. At the present rate of reduction it could potentially become circular by 2040, although this is unlikely because of the distortion effect of the neighboring jet streams. It is not known how long the spot will last, or whether the change is a result of normal fluctuations.

According to a study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, between 1996 and 2006 the spot lost 15 percent of its diameter along its major axis. Xylar Asay-Davis, who was on the team that conducted the study, noted that the spot is not disappearing because "[v]elocity is a more robust measurement because the clouds associated with the Red Spot are also strongly influenced by numerous other phenomena in the surrounding atmosphere."

Infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 data have long indicated that the Great Red Spot is colder (and thus, higher in altitude) than most of the other clouds on the planet; the cloud
Cloud
A cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water and/or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. They are also known as aerosols. Clouds in Earth's atmosphere are studied in the cloud physics branch of meteorology...

tops of the GRS are about 8 km above the surrounding clouds. Furthermore, careful tracking of atmospheric features revealed the spot's counterclockwise circulation as far back as 1966—observations dramatically confirmed by the first time-lapse movies from the Voyager flybys. The spot is spatially confined by a modest eastward jet stream
Jet stream
Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. The main jet streams are located near the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere and the stratosphere . The major jet streams on Earth are westerly winds...

 (prograde) to its south and a very strong westward (retrograde) one to its north. Though winds around the edge of the spot peak at about 120 m/s (432 km/h), currents inside it seem stagnant, with little inflow or outflow. The rotation period of the spot has decreased with time, perhaps as a direct result of its steady reduction in size. In 2010, astronomers imaged the GRS in the far infrared (from 8.5 to 24 μm) with a spatial resolution higher than ever before and found that its central, reddest region is warmer than its surroundings by between 3–4 K. The warm airmass is located in the upper troposphere in the pressure range of 200–500 mbar. This warm central spot slowly counter-rotates and may be caused by a weak subsidence of air in the center of GRS.
The Great Red Spot's latitude has been stable for the duration of good observational records, typically varying by about a degree. Its longitude
Longitude
Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

, however, is subject to constant variation. Because Jupiter does not rotate uniformly at all latitudes, astronomers have defined
three different systems for defining the longitude. System II is used for latitudes of more than 10°, and was originally based on the average rotation rate of the Great Red Spot of 9h 55m 42s. Despite this, the spot has "lapped" the planet in System II at least 10 times since the early 19th century. Its drift rate has changed dramatically over the years and has been linked to the brightness of the South Equatorial Belt, and the presence or absence of a South Tropical Disturbance.

It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot's reddish color. Theories supported by laboratory experiments suppose that the color may be caused by complex organic molecules, red phosphorus, or yet another sulfur compound. The GRS varies greatly in hue, from almost brick-red to pale salmon, or even white. The reddest central region is slightly warmer than the surroundings, which is the first evidence that the Spot's color is affected by environmental factors. The spot occasionally disappears from the visible spectrum, becoming evident only through the Red Spot Hollow, which is its niche in the South Equatorial Belt. The visibility of GRS is apparently coupled to the appearance of the SEB; when the belt is bright white, the spot tends to be dark, and when it is dark, the spot is usually light. The periods when the spot is dark or light occur at irregular intervals; as of 1997, during the preceding 50 years, the spot was darkest in the periods 1961–66, 1968–75, 1989–90, and 1992–93.

The Great Red Spot should not be confused with the Great Dark Spot, a feature observed near the northern pole of Jupiter in 2000 by the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft. A feature in the atmosphere of Neptune
Neptune
Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Named for the Roman god of the sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times...

 was also called the Great Dark Spot
Great Dark Spot
The Great Dark Spot is the name given to a series of dark spots on Neptune similar in appearance to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The first one was observed in 1989 by NASA's Voyager 2 probe. Like Jupiter's spot, they are anticyclonic storms...

. The latter feature, imaged by Voyager 2
Voyager 2
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space...

in 1989, may have been an atmospheric hole rather than a storm. It was no longer present in 1994, although a similar spot had appeared farther to the north.

Oval BA



Oval BA is the official name for a red storm in Jupiter's southern hemisphere similar in form to, though smaller than, the Great Red Spot (it is often affectionately referred to as "Red Spot Jr.", "Red Jr." or "The Little Red Spot"). A feature in the South Temperate Belt, Oval BA was first seen in 2000 after the collision of three small white storms, and has intensified since then.

The formation of the three white oval storms that later merged into Oval BA can be traced to 1939, when the South Temperate Zone was rent by dark features that effectively split the zone into three long sections. Jovian observer Elmer J. Reese labeled the dark sections AB, CD, and EF. The rifts expanded, shrinking the remaining segments of the STZ into the white ovals FA, BC, and DE. Ovals BC and DE merged in 1998, forming Oval BE. Then, in March 2000, BE and FA joined together, forming Oval BA. (see White ovals, below)
Oval BA slowly began to turn red in August 2005. On February 24, 2006, Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 amateur astronomer Christopher Go discovered the color change, noting that it had reached the same shade as the GRS. As a result, NASA writer Dr. Tony Phillips suggested it be called "Red Spot Jr." or "Red Jr."

In April 2006, a team of astronomers, believing that Oval BA might converge with the GRS that year, observed the storms through the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...

. The storms pass each other about every two years, but the passings of 2002 and 2004 did not produce anything exciting. Dr. Amy Simon-Miller, of the Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center
The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major NASA space research laboratory established on May 1, 1959 as NASA's first space flight center. GSFC employs approximately 10,000 civil servants and contractors, and is located approximately northeast of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. GSFC,...

, predicted the storms would have their closest passing on July 4, 2006. On July 20, the two storms were photographed passing each other by the Gemini Observatory
Gemini Observatory
The Gemini Observatory is an astronomical observatory consisting of two telescopes at sites in Hawai‘i and Chile. Together, the twin Gemini telescopes provide almost complete coverage of both the northern and southern skies...

 without converging.

Why Oval BA turned red is not understood. According to a 2008 study by Dr. Santiago Pérez-Hoyos of the University of the Basque Country, the most likely mechanism is "an upward and inward diffusion of either a colored compound or a coating vapor that may interact later with high energy solar photons at the upper levels of Oval BA." Some believe that small storms (and their corresponding white spots) on Jupiter turn red when the winds become powerful enough to draw certain gases from deeper within the atmosphere which change color when those gases are exposed to sunlight.

Oval BA is getting stronger according to observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007. The wind speeds have reached 618 km/h; about the same as in the Great Red Spot and far stronger than any of the progenitor storms. As of July 2008, its size is about the diameter of Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

—approximately half the size of the Great Red Spot.

Oval BA should not be confused with another major storm on Jupiter, the South Tropical Little Red Spot (LRS) (nicknamed "the Baby Red Spot" by NASA), which was destroyed by the GRS. The new storm, previously a white spot in Hubble images, turned red in May 2008. The observations were led by Imke de Pater of the University of California, at Berkeley, US
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

. The Baby Red Spot encountered the GRS in late June to early July 2008, and in the course of a collision, the smaller red spot was shredded into pieces. The remnants of the Baby Red Spot first orbited, then were later consumed by the GRS. The last of the remnants with a reddish color to have been identified by astronomers had disappeared by mid-July, and the remaining pieces again collided with the GRS, then finally merged with the bigger storm. The remaining pieces of the Baby Red Spot had completely disappeared by August, 2008. During this encounter Oval BA was present nearby, but played no apparent role in destruction of the Baby Red Spot.

Storms and lightning



The storms on Jupiter are similar to thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s on Earth. They reveal themselves via bright clumpy clouds about 1000 km in size, which appear from time to time in the belts' cyclonic regions, especially within the strong westward (retrograde) jets. In contrast to vortices, storms are short-lived phenomena; the strongest of them may exist for several months, while the average lifetime is only 3–4 days. They are believed to be due mainly to moist convection within Jupiter's troposphere. Storms are actually tall convective columns (plume
Plume (hydrodynamics)
In hydrodynamics, a plume is a column of one fluid or gas moving through another. Several effects control the motion of the fluid, including momentum, diffusion, and buoyancy...

s), which bring the wet air from the depths to the upper part of the troposphere, where it condenses in clouds. A typical vertical extent of Jovian storms is about 100 km; as they extend from a pressure level of about 5–7 bar, where the base of a hypothetical water cloud layer is located, to as high as 0.2–0.5 bar.

Storms on Jupiter are always associated with lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

. The imaging of the night–side hemisphere of Jupiter by Galileo and Cassini spacecraft revealed regular light flashes in Jovian belts and near the locations of the westward jets, particularly at 51°N, 56°S and 14°S latitudes. The lightning strikes on Jupiter are on average more powerful than those on Earth. However, they are less frequent; the light power
Power (physics)
In physics, power is the rate at which energy is transferred, used, or transformed. For example, the rate at which a light bulb transforms electrical energy into heat and light is measured in watts—the more wattage, the more power, or equivalently the more electrical energy is used per unit...

 emitted from a given area is similar to that on Earth. A few flashes have been detected in polar regions, making Jupiter the second planet after Earth to exhibit polar lightning.

Every 15–17 years Jupiter is marked by especially powerful storms. They appear at 23°N latitude, where the strongest eastward jet is located. The last time such an event was observed was in March–June 2007. Two storms appeared in the northern temperate belt 55° apart in longitude. They significantly disturbed the belt. The dark material that was shed by the storms mixed with clouds and changed the belt’s color. The storms moved with a speed as high as 170 m/s, slightly faster than the jet itself, hinting at the existence of strong winds deep in the atmosphere.

Disturbances


The normal pattern of bands and zones is sometimes disrupted for periods of time. One particular class of disruption are long-lived darkenings of the South Tropical Zone, normally referred to as "South Tropical Disturbances" (STD). The longest lived STD in recorded history was followed from 1901 until 1939, having been first seen by Percy B. Molesworth
Percy B. Molesworth
Percy Braybrooke Molesworth was a Major in the corps of Royal Engineers and an amateur astronomer.- Life and work :...

 on February 28, 1901. It took the form of darkening over part of the normally bright South Tropical zone. Several similar disturbances in the South Tropical Zone have been recorded since then.

Hot spots


One of the most mysterious features in the atmosphere of Jupiter are hot spots. In them the air is relatively free of clouds and the heat can escape from the depth without much absorption. The spots look like bright spots in the infrared images obtained at the wavelength of about 5 μm. They are preferentially located in the belts, although there is a train of prominent hot spots at the northern edge of the Equatorial Zone. Galileo probe descended into one of those equatorial spots. Each equatorial spot is associated with a bright cloudy plume
Plume (hydrodynamics)
In hydrodynamics, a plume is a column of one fluid or gas moving through another. Several effects control the motion of the fluid, including momentum, diffusion, and buoyancy...

 located to the west of it and reaching up to 10,000 km in size. Hot spots generally have round shape, although they do not resemble vortexes.

The origin of hot spots is not clear. They can be either downdrafts, where the descending air is adiabatically heated and dried or, alternatively, they can be a manifestation of a planetary scale waves. The latter hypotheses explains the periodical pattern of the equatorial spots.

Observational history




Early astronomers, using small telescopes with their eyes as detectors, recorded the changing appearance of Jupiter’s atmosphere. Their descriptive terms—belts and zones, brown spots and red spots, plumes, barges, festoons, and streamers—are still used. Other terms such as vorticity, vertical motion, cloud heights have entered in use later, in the 20th century.

The first observations of the Jovian atmosphere at higher resolution than possible with Earth-based telescopes were taken by the Pioneer
Pioneer program
The Pioneer program is a series of United States unmanned space missions that was designed for planetary exploration. There were a number of such missions in the program, but the most notable were Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, which explored the outer planets and left the solar system...

10
Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10 is a 258-kilogram robotic space probe that completed the first interplanetary mission to Jupiter, and became the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System. The project was managed by the NASA Ames Research Center and the contract for the construction of the...

and 11
Pioneer 11
Pioneer 11 is a 259-kilogram robotic space probe launched by NASA on April 6, 1973 to study the asteroid belt, the environment around Jupiter and Saturn, solar wind, cosmic rays, and eventually the far reaches of the solar system and heliosphere...

spacecraft. The first truly detailed images of Jupiter's atmosphere were provided by the Voyagers
Voyager program
The Voyager program is a U.S program that launched two unmanned space missions, scientific probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. They were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favorable planetary alignment of the late 1970s...

. The two spacecraft were able to image details at a resolution as low as 5 km in size in various spectra, and also able to create "approach movies" of the atmosphere in motion. The Galileo probe saw less of Jupiter's atmosphere, but at a better average resolution and a wider spectral bandwidth.

Today, astronomers have access to a continuous record of Jupiter's atmospheric activity thanks to telescopes such as Hubble. These show that the atmosphere is occasionally wracked by massive disturbances, but that, overall, it is remarkably stable. The vertical motion of Jupiter's atmosphere was largely determined by the identification of trace gases by ground-based telescopes. Spectroscopic
Astronomical spectroscopy
Astronomical spectroscopy is the technique of spectroscopy used in astronomy. The object of study is the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, which radiates from stars and other celestial objects...

 studies after the collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was a comet that broke apart and collided with Jupiter in July 1994, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of solar system objects. This generated a large amount of coverage in the popular media, and the comet was closely observed by...

 gave a glimpse of the Jupiter's composition beneath the cloud tops. The presence of diatomic sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 (S2) and carbon disulfide
Carbon disulfide
Carbon disulfide is a colorless volatile liquid with the formula CS2. The compound is used frequently as a building block in organic chemistry as well as an industrial and chemical non-polar solvent...

 (CS2) was recorded—the first detection of either in Jupiter, and only the second detection of S2 in any astronomical object
Astronomical object
Astronomical objects or celestial objects are naturally occurring physical entities, associations or structures that current science has demonstrated to exist in the observable universe. The term astronomical object is sometimes used interchangeably with astronomical body...

— together with other molecules such as ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 (NH3) and hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of expired eggs perceptible at concentrations as low as 0.00047 parts per million...

 (H2S), while oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

-bearing molecules such as sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is released by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide unless the sulfur compounds are removed before burning the fuel...

 were not detected, to the surprise of astronomers.

The Galileo atmospheric probe, as it plunged into Jupiter, measured the wind, temperature, composition, clouds, and radiation levels down to 22 bar. However, below 1 bar elsewhere on Jupiter there is uncertainty in the quantities.

Great Red Spot studies



The first sighting of the GRS is often credited to Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

, who described a spot on the planet in May 1664; however, it is likely that Hooke's spot was in the wrong belt altogether (the North Equatorial Belt, versus the current location in the South Equatorial Belt). Much more convincing is Giovanni Cassini's description of a "permanent spot" in the following year. With fluctuations in visibility, Cassini's spot was observed from 1665 to 1713.

A minor mystery concerns a Jovian spot depicted around 1700 on a canvas by Donato Creti
Donato Creti
Donato Creti was an Italian painter of the Rococo period, active mostly in Bologna.Born in Cremona, he moved to Bologna, where he was a pupil of Lorenzo Pasinelli. He is described by Wittkower as the "Bolognese Marco Benefial", in that his style was less decorative and edged into a more formal...

, which is exhibited in the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

. It is a part of a series of panels in which different (magnified) heavenly bodies serve as backdrops for various Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 scenes, the creation of all of them overseen by the astronomer Eustachio Manfredi for accuracy. Creti's painting is the first known to depict the GRS as red. No Jovian feature was officially described as red before the late 19th century.

The present GRS was first seen only after 1830 and well-studied only after a prominent apparition in 1879. A long 118-year gap separates the observations made after 1830 from its 17th-century discovery; whether the original spot dissipated and re-formed, whether it faded, or even if the observational record was simply poor are unknown. The older spots had a short observational history and slower motion than that of the modern spot, which make their identity unlikely.

On February 25, 1979, when the Voyager 1
Voyager 1
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram space probe launched by NASA in 1977, to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. Operating for as of today , the spacecraft receives routine commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network. At a distance of as of...

spacecraft was 9.2 million kilometers from Jupiter it transmitted the first detailed image of the Great Red Spot back to Earth. Cloud details as small as 160 km across were visible. The colorful, wavy cloud pattern seen to the west (left) of the GRS is the spot's wake region, where extraordinarily complex and variable cloud motions are observed.

White ovals


The white ovals that were to become Oval BA formed in 1939. They covered almost 90 degree
Degree (angle)
A degree , usually denoted by ° , is a measurement of plane angle, representing 1⁄360 of a full rotation; one degree is equivalent to π/180 radians...

s of longitude
Longitude
Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

 shortly after their formation, but contracted rapidly during their first decade; their length stabilized at 10 degrees or less after 1965. Although they originated as segments of the STZ, they evolved to become completely embedded in the South Temperate Belt, suggesting that they moved north, "digging" a niche into the STB. Indeed, much like the GRS, their circulations were confined by two opposing jet stream
Jet stream
Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. The main jet streams are located near the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere and the stratosphere . The major jet streams on Earth are westerly winds...

s on their northern and southern boundaries, with an eastward jet to their north and a retrograde westward one to the south.

The longitudinal movement of the ovals seemed to be influenced by two factors: Jupiter's position in its orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

 (they became faster at aphelion), and their proximity to the GRS (they accelerated when within 50 degrees of the Spot). The overall trend of the white oval drift rate was deceleration, with a decrease by half between 1940 and 1990.

During the Voyager fly-bys, the ovals extended roughly 9000 km from east to west, 5000 km from north to south, and rotated every five days (compared to six for the GRS at the time).

See also


  • Extrasolar planet
    Extrasolar planet
    An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System. A total of such planets have been identified as of . It is now known that a substantial fraction of stars have planets, including perhaps half of all Sun-like stars...

     (many are larger than Jupiter)
  • Galileo atmospheric probe
  • Juno
    Juno (spacecraft)
    Juno is a NASA New Frontiers mission to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011. The spacecraft is to be placed in a polar orbit to study the planet's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere...

    probe

External links