Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 18, 2013

Inside Jupiter's Atmosphere
Inside Jupiter's Atmosphere

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/GSFC and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

The Jupiter's "Dark Hot Spot" visible in this image - taken on December, 13 of the AD 2000 by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Imaging Science Subsystem (while Cassini was on its way to the Saturnian System) - is, in a manner of speaking, a "window" that opens deep inside into Jupiter's Upper Atmosphere. In fact, all around the Dark Hot Spot, there are Layers of higher Clouds, with shapes and colors that can help us to identify which Layer of the Jovian Amosphere they actually belong to.

For instance, the three small gray-bluish Clouds visible to to the right of the frame, are located in the Jovian Upper Troposphere, or perhaps even higher, into the Jovian Stratosphere. On the other hand, the large Gray Band located under the Dark Hot Spot (inside which can be - really - barely seen a few bizarre-looking dense Cloud Formations), is positioned in the Lower Troposphere of Jupiter. In addition, a high, gauzy orangish Haze seems to cover a large portion of the frame.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w false-color frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 16837) has been additionally processed and then re-colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that an average human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - CASSINI Spececraft and then looked outside, towards the Jupiter), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

Note: we apologize to our Readers, but some of the details (i.e.: a so-called "Gyre" and a "Plume") which characterize part of the dense Cloud-Formations located in the Lower Troposphere of Jupiter can ONLY be seen by watching the false-color version of this frame, as edited by NASA, and found in the Planetary Photojournal. If seen through "human eyes", the aformentioned details disappear almost completely (only the Plume, in fact, can be barely spotted, left of center of the gray Clouds-Band).

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