Images of Jupiter's equatorial region

Scientists announced June 5 at a news conference in Pasadena, Calif., that the Galileo spacecraft has sent back data showing that Jupiter, like the Earth, has wet and dry areas like the desert and tropic climates. This photographic mosaic of images from NASA's Galileo spacecraft shows an area of Jupiter's equatorial region. The dark region near the center of the mosaic is an equatorial "hotspot," or hole in the bright reflective cloud layer where heat from Jupiter's deep atmosphere can pass through. The circulation patterns observed here, along with other data, suggest that dry air may be converging and sinking over these regions, maintaining their cloud-free appearance. The bright oval in the upper right of the mosaic, as well as the other bright features, are examples of upwelling of moist air and condensation. (AP Photo/NASA)
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