Clouds Dance in Jupiter Movie Clips
20 Nov 2000
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
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Lori Stiles, University of Arizona, (520) 626-4402
Two short movie clips of Jupiter based on images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft show dynamic clouds in action on the giant planet.
One clip, from Cassini images taken at uneven time intervals over a five-day period in October, catches winds swirling counterclockwise around Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Dark and light bands that form horizontal stripes around the planet can be seen rushing in opposite directions to each other. The other clip shows the reverse side of Jupiter, and smooths out the motion of the bands by including some intermediate false frames between real images taken by Cassini.
The movies are available from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at
and from the web site of the Cassini Imaging Science team at the University of Arizona, Tucson, at
Cassini will pass most closely to Jupiter, at about 10 million kilometers (6 million miles) away, on Dec. 30. It will use a boost from Jupiter's gravity to reach its ultimate destination, Saturn. While near Jupiter, it is studying that planet's atmosphere, magnetic field and rings in collaboration with NASA's Galileo spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter since Dec. 7, 1995. More information on the joint Cassini-Galileo observations is available at
Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the Cassini and Galileo missions for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.