· · · ·

South Polar Region

SPR, Zone on Jupiter

The South South Temperate Belt is the southernmost of the atmospheric bands and belts of the planet Jupiter. Southward of this belt, from a latitude of about 50° south, the clouds covering Jupiter's south pole extend in a vast and generally undifferentiated mass over a surface area of more than twenty thousand million km2.

The high ammonia clouds that give most of Jupiter its distinctive pale brown-orange colouring are less evident in the polar regions, so towards the south pole the browns and oranges of higher latitudes give way to the greys and blues of the atmosphere's lower layers of water ice. Though the South Polar Region is not differentiated into bands, it is by no means featureless. Across the vast blue-grey polar skies colossal cyclones, hundreds of kilometres from side to side, swarm around each other.

Jupiter's immense magnetic field channels the Solar Wind towards the poles of the planet, creating gigantic aurorae in both the North and South Polar Regions. These aurorae dwarf those seen on Earth, but are far more visible in the X-ray spectrum than in visible light.


Related Entries