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.

March 11, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Jupiter: The Great Yellow Spot
The Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What happened to Jupiter's Great Red Spot? Operating at a chilly 55 degrees Kelvin, the Galileo Spacecraft's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) recorded this composite image of Jupiter's Great Red Spot in late June 1996. Red, green, and blue colors were chosen to represent three different infrared wavelengths detected by the NIMS instrument. The resulting yellowish green appearance of the massive Jovian storm system - a cold, high pressure area 2 to 3 Earth diameters wide - indicates that it lies high above the surrounding cloud features. Blue corresponds to regions where the clouds are relatively thin and the features lie at greater depths.

Tomorrow's picture: Saturn in Color

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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.