PIA21642: Under Jupiter's Cloud Tops

Under Jupiter’s Cloud Tops


NASA's Juno spacecraft carries an instrument called the Microwave Radiometer, which examines Jupiter's atmosphere beneath the planet's cloud tops. This image shows the instrument's view of the outer part of Jupiter's atmosphere.

Before Juno began using this instrument, scientists expected the atmosphere to be uniform at depths greater than 60 miles (100 kilometers). But with the Microwave Radiometer, scientists have discovered that the atmosphere has variations down to at least 220 miles (350 kilometers), as deep as the instrument can see.

In the cut-out image to the right, orange signifies high ammonia abundance and blue signifies low ammonia abundance. Jupiter appears to have a band around its equator high in ammonia abundance, with a column shown in orange. This is contrary to scientists' expectations that ammonia would be uniformly mixed.

Background Info:

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

More information about Juno is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Jupiter
System Jupiter
Target Type Planet
Mission Juno
Instrument Host Juno
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Microwave Radiometer
Extra Keywords Ammonia, Atmosphere, Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2017-05-25
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21642
Identifier PIA21642