What Is the Weather Like on Jupiter?

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Jupiter has a dry, thick atmosphere; high-speed winds, turbulence and long-lasting storms are common. The weather on Jupiter is much different from that found on a rocky planet such as the Earth.

The winds in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere have been clocked traveling at more than 220 miles per hour. Scientists do not know exactly what Jupiter is like below the clouds. However, most think that the atmosphere is about 30 miles thick and contains two layers of clouds. The bottom layer of clouds is thick and opaque, while the upper layer is thin and transparent. It is unknown what lies beneath the thickest clouds, but most scientists doubt that Jupiter has a true surface that forms the boundary between the planet and its atmosphere. It is possible that the “surface” is a slurry, frozen ball of gases.

Jupiter has a famous red spot that has persisted for at least the last several hundred years. The red spot is recorded in virtually all historical records from astronomers who studied the planet. Scientists suspect that the giant red spot is actually a hurricane or tornado on Jupiter. However, this storm is much bigger than any storms on Earth. The red spot shrinks and grow over time, but at its largest, it approaches 25,000 miles in diameter.