A Map of Jupiter


This map of Jupiter was assembled from images taken by Hubble. It’s a stretched-out map of the entire planet.

The Great Red Spot is the orange-colored oval on the left side of the image. This storm has a diameter slightly larger than the entire Earth’s. It appears more orange than red in this image, with a small core of deep-orange color at the center. Clouds moving toward the giant storm from right to left are darker than in earlier observations, and clouds to the south, which are moving toward the Great Red Spot from west to east, are whiter than in past studies. The Great Red Spot has been decreasing in size since the 19th Century. The weather changes on Jupiter, but on a vastly different time scale than here on Earth.

Red Spot Jr., a smaller storm than the Great Red Spot, has faded from red to white over the past couple of years. This storm is near the center of the map further south than its big cousin. Earth-based telescopes originally identified Red Spot Jr. as a white, oval-shaped storm created when three smaller ovals merged about 20 years ago. It turned red in 2005. Now, it has changed back to its original color.

Image Credit: NASA / STScI

Jupiter’s Magnetic Field


This animation illustrates Jupiter’s magnetic field at a single moment in time. The Great Blue Spot, an-invisible-to-the-eye concentration of magnetic field near the equator, stands out as a particularly strong feature. The gray lines (called field lines) show the field’s direction in space, and the depth of the color on the planet’s surface corresponds to the strength of the magnetic field. Dark red and dark blue correspond to strong positive and strong negative fields, respectively).

Video Credit: NASA