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Jupiter's Atmosphere: Overview of Cloud Shapes, Location, Composition - Windows to the Universe

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This is an image of Jupiter showing the various cloud shapes.
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A Look at Jupiter's Clouds

Jupiter shows a pattern of clouds of white, brown, and orange. And then there is the Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is the largest of the clouds of Jupiter. Other cloud shapes include eddy shapes, white ovals, brown ovals, and brown barges. The eddies and white ovals are outlined in this picture, when shown at full size.

These clouds form in stripes and move across the face of Jupiter. The stripes are similar to those found on all the giant planets.

There are three layers of clouds on Jupiter, and each one is composed of different molecules. At one level there are clouds of ammonia, at another level there are clouds made of ammonia and sulfur, and at a third level there are clouds of water (H2O).

Hazes of smog on Jupiter are to be found at very high altitudes above the clouds of Jupiter.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF