Science & Tech

Jupiter Stripes

According to the study analysing Juno mission’s data, zonal winds around Jupiter — alternating east-west jet streams — can only descend to 3,000 km in the atmosphere. That why Jupiter’s stripes are only skin deep.

About: 

  • The stripes of colour on Jupiter are called its bands.

  • Types: There are two types of bands on Jupiter.
    • The light-coloured bands are called ‘zones’ and show regions where the gas is rising.
    • The dark-coloured bands are called ‘belts’ and show where gas is sinking.
  • Cause: Jupiter’s stripes or ‘bands’ are caused by differences in the chemical composition and temperature of the atmospheric gas.
    • It used to be thought that the only cause for these bands was the strong atmospheric winds coupled with strong convection cells circulating material between different layers of the atmosphere.
    • However, it is now thought that Jupiter’s moons also play an important role in making Jupiter stripy by tugging on the planet’s atmospheric convection cells.

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