Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

2000 April 29
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

3D View Of Jupiter's Clouds
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Every day is a cloudy day on Jupiter, the Solar System's reigning gas giant. This 3-dimensional visualization presents a simplified model view from between Jovian cloud decks based on imaging and spectral data recorded by the Galileo spacecraft. The separation between the cloud layers and the height variations have been exaggerated. The upper cloud layer is haze a few tens of miles thick. Heights in the lower cloud layers have been color coded; light bluish clouds are high and thin, reddish clouds are low, and white clouds are high and thick. Streaks in the lower layer suggestively lead to a dark blue area, a relatively clear, dry region similar to the site where Galileo's atmospheric probe made the first entry into a gas giant planet's atmosphere on December 7th, 1995.

Tomorrow's picture: SMC

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.