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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

Your weight on the Planets The Planets Your age on the Planets
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune pluto
JUPITER
General
Description
Atmosphere and Planetary Composition Great Red Spot Belts and Zones Jupiter's Rings Jupiter's Moons Statistics Activities, Web Links

BELTS AND ZONES


Jupiter's gaseous surface is very windy, with wind speeds exceeding 400 mph (620 kph) in wide bands of latitude. Winds in adjacent bands blow in opposite directions. The light colored bands we see are called zones; the dark ones are called belts.

The differences in colors are caused by slight differences in chemical composition and temperature, but the reasons are mostly unknown. The color of a region depends on its altitude (height).

Measurements performed by NASA's Pioneer spacecraft in 1973 determined that the dark belts are warmer than the light zones. This probably means that the dark (warmer) belts are at lower altitudes than the light (colder) zones.



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