Jupiter's counter-flowing winds


Fig. 3.6 . The rapid rotation of Jupiter has pulled its winds into bands that flow east to west and west to east, shown in this image taken from the Cassini spacecraft on 7 December 2001. The windswept clouds move in alternating light-colored, high-pressure zones and dark-colored, low-pressure belts. The arrows point in the direction of wind flow, and their length corresponds to the wind velocity, which can reach 180 meters per second in the equatorial regions (see Figure 3.7). The Great Red Spot swirls in the counter-clockwise direction (curved arrows), like a high-pressure anticyclone in the Earth's southern hemisphere, but it has lasted for more than 300 years, much longer than terrestrial storms. Jupiterís moon Europa casts a shadow on the planet. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University