Jupiter's Jet Streams
Jupiter is the largest and most massive planet in our solar system. You might not think of it as a place to learn about Earth's atmosphere and weather, but Jupiter, like our home planet, has cyclones (the Jovian equivalent of hurricanes) and anticyclones, along with fast-moving jet streams that circle its globe. Revealed in a sequence of black-and-white images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its flyby of Jupiter are chevrons, dark V-shaped features that travel within a band of powerful winds near the equator. By tracking chevrons, NASA scientists were not only able to gauge the jet stream's speed, but also witness its subtle, wavelike movement as it zoomed around the planet—something never before seen. Studying this motion can help scientists better understand similar weather patterns on Earth. Learn more about this discovery and see footage of Jupiter's jet streams by watching the videos below.
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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Striped appearance image courtesy of NASA/STScI
Jet stream close-up image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Credit
Chevron close-up image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute