Jupiter's atmosphere displays a rich variety of activity, studied by both the Galileo orbiter and
its atmospheric probe. Equatorial cloud belts are associated with atmospheric jet streams that
alternate between east and west directions, at different latitudes.
Between the jet streams there are numerous circulating ovals of clouds, some of which have
very long lifetimes. The largest of these, the Great Red Spot, has been in existence for more than
300 years, since the first recorded observations of the planet.
Upon arrival at Jupiter in 1995, the Galileo Probe penetrated the top most cloudily layers of
Jupiter's atmosphere and returned a Jovian weather report on temperature, pressure,
composition, winds, and lightning in the vicinity of the probe. The probe was no designed to take
images, but it returned a wealth of information about the conditions in the Jovian "hot spot"
through which it descended.
From orbit, the Galileo Orbiter observed the cloud patterns and wind conditions over many
regions of Jupiter's atmosphere and watched their changes with time.