This movie is a manipulated sequence showing motions in Jupiter's atmosphere over the course of five days beginning Oct. 1, 2000, as seen by a camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, using a blue filter.
Beginning with seven images taken at uneven time intervals, this sequence was made by using information on wind speeds derived from actual Jupiter images to create evenly spaced time steps throughout. The final result is a smooth movie sequence consisting of both real and false frames.
The view is of the opposite side of the planet from Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The region shown reaches from 50 degrees north to 50 degrees south of Jupiter's equator, and extends 100 degrees east-to-west, about one-quarter of Jupiter's circumference. The smallest features are about 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) across.
Towards the end of the sequence, a shadow appears from one of Jupiter's moons, Europa.
The movie shows the remains of a historic merger that began several years ago, when three white oval storms that had existed for 60 years merged into two, then one. The resulting oval is visible in the lower left portion of the movie.
The movie also shows zonal jets that circle the planet on constant latitudes. Winds seen moving toward the left (westward) correspond to features that are rotating a little slower than Jupiter's magnetic field, and winds moving the opposite direction correspond to features that are rotating a little faster than the magnetic field. Since Jupiter has no solid surface, the rotation of the magnetic field is the point of reference for the rotation of the planet.
Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.