Merged Storms
Photojournal: PIA02832
Published: December 16, 2004

This image is one frame from a movie clip of cloud motions on Jupiter, from the side of the planet opposite to the Great Red Spot. It was taken in the first week of October 2000 by the narrow-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, with a blue filter.

A white oval visible in the lower left is the remains of a historic merger that began several years ago, when three white oval storms that had existed for 60 years merged into two, then one. Like the Great Red Spot, it is a high-pressure center in the southern hemisphere, but only half as large. The color difference between the white oval and the Red Spot is not well understood, but it is undoubtedly related to the updrafts and downdrafts that carry chemicals to different heights in the two structures.

The region shown reaches from 50 degrees north to 50 degrees south of Jupiter's equator, and extends 100 degrees east-to-west, about one-quarter of Jupiter's circumference. The smallest features are about 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) across.

Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

For higher resolution, click here.


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