Peering into Jupiter's Atmosphere from Earth

Padraig Donnelly and Arrate Antunano-Martin - Department of Physics and Astronomy

padraig donnelly

Like on Earth, Jupiter's clouds reflect visible light coming from the sun and block infrared light from below. Gaps in the clouds allow this thermal radiation to escape, allowing scientists at Leicester to peer into the deeper layers of the planetary interior.  Seen with ground-based telescopes, these images show variations in temperature, cloud cover and chemistry at different altitudes giving a three-dimensional global view of the planet over timescales spanning multiple Jupiter years. These data also give an unprecedented view of Jupiter’s south pole as observed from the ground in the infrared.