Clouds on Jupiter are more complex than they seem

If you look at images of Jupiter it may seem that its clouds form a flat surface, but that’s not true. Some of them rise above the surrounding cloud tops. For example, two bright spots to the right of the center of the image are much higher than the surrounding clouds.

Jupiter’s atmosphere is a colorful, chaotic mixture of currents and vortices. Thanks to NASA’s Juno spacecraft, we know that Jupiter’s swirling clouds can extend 3,000km deep into the planet.
Jupiter’s atmosphere is the deepest of any planet in the Solar System. Jupiter has no solid surface, but its atmosphere is thought to end at a point where the pressure reaches 100kPa (1.0 bar). Although what scientists call the cloud layer may be only about 50km deep, Jupiter’s atmospheric bands may extend much deeper.
Jupiter’s atmosphere and internal structure are very complex. How deep Jupiter’s storms extend has been a mystery for decades. Juno was able to measure them using the Gravity Science instrument.


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