Shop Windows to the Universe

The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This is a diagram showing the locations of the cloud decks of Jupiter.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Moons and Planets

Jupiter Cloud Decks

There are three regions in Jupiter's atmosphere, as shown in this picture, where clouds of a particular kind, or clouddecks, are to be found. There is a clouddeck of ammonia clouds, a clouddeck of ammonia hydrosulfide clouds, and a clouddeck of water clouds (H2O).

The location of the clouds must be predicted, based upon the temperature at which vapor will condense into droplets. The temperature at which the condensation occurs, according to the temperature profile shown in the figure by the black line, is where the clouds ought to be.

The diagram shows that the temperature in the troposphere increases from about -300 degrees (100 K) to about 32 degrees (273 K) in about 50 km (31 miles or 164,000 ft.).

The first clouddeck, made of ammonia clouds is found at about 30 km below the tropopause, where the temperature becomes about 150 K. The second clouddeck, made of ammonium hydrosulfide clouds is found at about 60 km below the tropopause, where the temperature becomes about 200 K. And the third clouddeck, made of water clouds is found at about 80 km below the tropopause, where the temperature becomes about 273 K (freezing temperature for water).


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Jupiter's Troposphere

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

Mars Global Surveyor Measures Water Clouds

This graph, taken by Mars Global Surveyor, shows proof that the clouds of Mars are made of water. The sequence shows the water clouds moving across the face of Mars. The Mariner 9 mission was the first...more

An Overview of the Evolution of Jupiter's Atmosphere

Atmospheres of the giant planets have definetely evolved from their formation out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity,...more

Jupiter's Mesosphere

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

An Overview of Jupiter's Atmospheric Structure

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

Jupiter's Stratosphere

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

Altitude Variations of the Belts & Zones

On Jupiter, the winds in the belts and zones blow first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Wind blows east in a belt, and west in a zone. The clouds rise up in a belt, and drop down in a...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA