FYI logo

Jupiter's Magical Stripes

Jupiter Changes Color Every 5 Years, Now We Know Why

By Abdul Hannan SaifPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Jupiter is a planet in our solar system that's big, much bigger than Earth. It's made mostly of gas and has a lot of different colors, ranging from creamy yellow to caramel brown and blue. When you look at Jupiter from far away, it looks like a beautiful sunrise.

One thing that's interesting about Jupiter is that it has patterns of light and dark clouds that go around the planet in stripes. The dark stripes are called belts, and the lighter ones are called zones. Earth also has these patterns, but Jupiter has a lot more of them.

Scientists think that Jupiter's stripes are caused by the different gases in the planet's atmosphere. Jupiter doesn't have a solid surface like Earth, so its atmosphere is always moving around. The belts and zones are formed by winds that blow in different directions at different speeds.

It's really cool to think about what Jupiter would look like if its stripes could change colors and positions like a tiger's stripes. But for now, we'll just have to enjoy the beautiful patterns that are already there.

Jupiter has brown and beige belts across its surface. These belts appear calm, but they are part of a wild weather system. Jupiter has a massive atmosphere and a weather system similar to Earth's, so it experiences some extraordinary storms. The belts and zones move in opposite directions around the planet. The belts go against Jupiter's rotation, while the zones go with it. They also exist at different heights in the planet's atmosphere. The belts are regions where things are rising up, while the zones are more like sinking areas. The famous Great Red Spot storm on Jupiter is red because it sits at a higher altitude than the rest of the atmosphere and gets a stronger dose of sunlight. The storm also contains special chemicals in its clouds, like ammonia and acetylene, which react in a unique way when they receive extra radiation, giving the storm its distinct red color.

Anyway, the stripes look pretty cool and all, but what's the big mystery around them? Well, you see, one day scientists decided to look at data from deep inside Jupiter, about 30 miles below the surface. And after peeping into Jupiter's secrets, they noticed something strange. When they looked at Jupiter using a special type of light called infrared, the colors of its stripes actually switched around. The light bands that were pale and creamy in normal pictures become dark in the infrared view. The dark bands that were belted before now shine brightly in the infrared. This suggests something interesting. The belts on Jupiter have thinner cloud coverings compared to the zones. It's like the belts are wearing sheer see-through outfits while the zones have thicker clouds like fluffy jackets. So what we see as dark bands in normal pictures turn out to be bright in the infrared, hinting that these belts have less cloud stuff blocking the light.

Jupiter's weather patterns are unpredictable and undergo periodic changes every few years. Scientists are still trying to determine why this happens. To investigate, they have deployed a spacecraft named Juno. The spacecraft has been collecting information about Jupiter since 2016, including its magnetic field, which acts as a protective shield against harmful particles from the Sun. Jupiter's magnetic field is stronger than Earth's due to its size.

Magnetic fields are generated by something called a Dynamo, which is like a big swirling conducting fluid inside the planet. This fluid moves around and rotates, kind of like a dance partner. Scientists think that this Dynamo might be responsible for the strange changes in Jupiter's stripes. Maybe the Dynamo is getting a bit wild and changing the patterns on the surface. Or maybe there's something else going on that we don't know yet. The mystery of Jupiter's magical stripes continues, but with Juno's help, we might just unravel it one day.


About the Creator

Abdul Hannan Saif

Blogger | Writer | Explorer | wish to inspire, inform and help others to see fascinating discoveries and live a fulfilled life!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • anha saif2 months ago

    Very interesting

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.