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The Dynamic Worlds of Jupiter and Saturn

The swirling atmospheres and other dynamic features of the outer planets are now studied by combining individual images taken at intervals into continuous movies. The images shown here represent many hours of Earth-based and spacecraft observations that are used to measure magnetic field variations and wind speeds in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn.

Io Sodium Cloud

Io Sodium Cloud & Jupiter
101 k GIF - 16k JPEG
NASA/JPL Table Mountain Observatory

This image of Io's neutral sodium cloud was recorded on May 5, 1981, at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Table Mountain Observatory. The size and location of Io are indicated by the orange dot within the crossbars. Earth-based telescopic imaging of the cloud since 1976 has shown that it changes its shape in respose to variations in the magnetic field of Jupiter, and is composed of sodium atoms originating from Io. - More about Io.
Atmospheric Rotation of Jupiter

Great Red Spot/Atmosphere Rotation (time lapse)
Great Red Spot Rotation
275k GIF
- 73k JPEG
NASA Press Release #P21148

Numerous individual frames taken by Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 during their approach to Jupiter show the rotation and atmospheric circulation of the planet. Storm systems form where jetstreams of eastward and westward moving clouds pass each other. The Great Red Spot rotates counterclockwise once every six days.
More information on the atmosphere of Jupiter.
Saturn's Rings

304k GIF
- 58k JPEG
NASA Press Release #81-H-589

High resolution images from Voyager 2 show Saturn's rings and their spoke-like features. The origin of the spokes is unknown, but analysis of Voyager data suggests that they are thin clouds of fine particles suspended above the rings by electrostatic forces.
More information on Saturn's rings.

Atmospheric Rotation of Saturn

297k GIF
- 86k JPEG
NASA Press Release #81-H-590/P-23921BW

Like Jupiter, jetstreams in Saturn's atmosphere move in both westerly and easterly directions, and create storms where they pass each other. This Voyager 2 image was taken over a two month period as the spacecraft approached the planet. White clouds in the atmosphere appear to leave a trail of smaller clouds in their wake.
More information on the atomsphere of Saturn.

Jupiter Facts || The Moons of Jupiter || Views of Jupiter
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