This is a drawing depicting the motions in earth's atmosphere.
Image from: Random House Atlas, NOAA
Motions in Earth's Atmosphere
Motions in the atmosphere of a planet help carry heat from the surface back to space.
The drawing to the left shows a kind of motion that is found in the atmosphere as well as inside a planet.
In the top drawing, there are three red sheets of activity in the atmosphere where the air turns over. The bottom is an image of the Earth showing the weak striped pattern of clouds which happens in response to the motion in the atmosphere shown by the red sheets. There is one stripe of clouds in the middle, at the equator, and two other stripes of clouds halfway to the north and south poles.
On Jupiter, this pattern is multiplied a thousand times by the forces of Jupiter's gravity and tremendous spin. Jupiter spins once in 10 hours. For a planet the size of Jupiter, this spin creates a powerful force.
You might also be interested in:
The striped cloud bands on Jupiter are certainly not as straight as they appear to be in this picture! The picture shows that the striped pattern is divided into belts and zones. The belts and zones of...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more
The mesosphere of Jupiter is a region of balance between warming and cooling. That essentially means that nothing happens there. Except for diffusion, the atmosphere is still. Upper reaches of the atmosphere,...more
As on Earth, the atmosphere of Jupiter consists of a troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The troposphere is the region where the visible clouds are to be found. The stratosphere, as...more
The stratosphere of Jupiter is a region of warming as determined by infrared measurements of methane (CH4) in the region. Like the troposphere, the stratosphere is warmed by the sun, warmed by Jupiter's...more
The troposphere of Jupiter is where the clouds are. Clouds form in regions of strong atmospheric motion, when condensation takes place. The troposphere is the region rapidly stirred by vertical motions....more
On Jupiter, the winds in the belts and zones blow first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Wind blows east in a belt, and west in a zone. The clouds rise up in a belt, and drop down in a...more