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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This is an image of Jupiter showing the various cloud shapes.
Click on image for full size

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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Eddys in the Jovian Atmosphere

This picture shows the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, in the center of the image. Swirling white clouds below, and to the right of the Great Red Spot, in this picture, are eddys. This image does not have...more

The White Ovals of Jupiter

Among the cloud shapes in the atmosphere of Jupiter are white ovals. White ovals are a collection of white clouds which are grouped together into an oval shape. They are found almost anywhere in the atmosphere...more

A Brown Barge in the Jovian Atmosphere

This is a picture of a brown barge. The accompanying clouds, next to the barge, look very similar to earth clouds. ...more

Jupiter's Cloud Decks

There are three different layer of clouds, or clouddecks, in Jupiter's atmosphere, as shown in this picture. The clouddecks are made of different molecules. The first clouddeck is made of ammonia clouds....more

White Oval Trains

Like sailboats in the ocean, the white ovals seem to drift eastward faster than the underlying current which carries other cloud formations in the South Temperate Zone (STZ). Since their birth , the ovals...more


Clouds can come in all sizes and shapes, and can form near the ground or high in the atmosphere. Clouds are groups of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the sky and are formed by different processes....more

Motions in Jupiter's Interior, part 2

Motions, or currents in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Jupiter may be very different from the motions typical of the earth's interior. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant...more

An Overview of Jupiter's Atmosphere

The king of planets is aptly named because it not only has the most dymanic atmospheric motion, but also the most riveting cloud patterns and storms, and the most majestic appearance of the giant planets....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