Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2003 November 14
Explanation: Every day is a cloudy day on Jupiter, the Solar System's reigning gas giant. And swirling cloud tops are all you see in this stunningly detailed true colour image, a portion of a large digital mosaic portrait of Jupiter recorded from the Cassini spacecraft during its Jovian flyby in December 2000. The smallest features visible are about 60 kilometres across. Jupiter's composition is dominated by hydrogen and the clouds contain hydrogen compounds like ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and even water. A truly giant planet, Jupiter's diameter is over 11 times the diameter of Earth and the smallest storms visible in the Cassini Jupiter portrait are similar in size to large terrestrial hurricanes. Now traveling beyond Jupiter, the Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to reach the Saturnian system in July of 2004.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.