This is an image of Jupiter.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
A Look at the History of Jupiter's Atmosphere
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation
. But how much remains to be seen.
Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their atmospheres very soon after they formed because the atmosphere drifted away).
Jupiter is made primarily of the simple molecules hydrogen and helium, which is what there was near Jupiter when it was forming.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
The position of the planets in the solar nebula affected how big they became and what they were made of. The blue line in the picture shows where it became so cold that ice began to form. Planets that...more
Scientists ask many questions. One of the questions they like to ask is "Where did the atmosphere come from?" As always, scientists chip in with many different, and sometimes conflicting answers. Some...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more
The mesosphere of Jupiter is a region of balance between warming and cooling. That essentially means that nothing happens there. Except for diffusion, the atmosphere is still. Upper reaches of the atmosphere,...more
As on Earth, the atmosphere of Jupiter consists of a troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The troposphere is the region where the visible clouds are to be found. The stratosphere, as...more
The stratosphere of Jupiter is a region of warming as determined by infrared measurements of methane (CH4) in the region. Like the troposphere, the stratosphere is warmed by the sun, warmed by Jupiter's...more
The troposphere of Jupiter is where the clouds are. Clouds form in regions of strong atmospheric motion, when condensation takes place. The troposphere is the region rapidly stirred by vertical motions....more