Do you know what makes up the atmosphere of Jupiter – the beautiful giant in our solar system? Here’s a shocker – Jupiter only has an atmosphere or in other words it is a gas giant that is made up of completely gas with hydrogen and helium making up the bulk with a tiny trace amount of other gases.

To be exact, hydrogen has the largest share with about 90% while just under 10% is helium. A fraction that remains is the atmosphere containing sulfur, methane, water, ammonia and the likes. As you move from the surface or the outermost edge of the gaseous giant to the center, the temperature and pressure both increase. With this increase, the gases are built into layers upon layers. Deeper down you go, more liquid the layers seem. In fact, at the core of Jupiter, it is believed that a Hydrogen solid core exists at enormous pressure and temperature!

Different Layers

Using the changes seen in pressure and temperature, it was determined that the atmosphere has several layers. The one that sits on the surface is called troposphere and it runs for around 50 kilometers away from the surface. This layer contains ammonia, water and ammonium hydrosulfide. It is what creates the red bands and white bands that you can see from Earth. Zones are the cold whiter bands and belts are the dark red. Any gas inside the red zone basically rise up while those in the white fall.

Then there are winds generated from two separate regions of band and zones. It is rare that the white clouds overlap with the red bands but it can happen from time to time.

Then comes the stratosphere that runs for about 320km with some number of hydrocarbons but mostly hydrogen and helium. The temperature here begins running into the minus 100-degree centigrade level. After that comes the thermosphere that increases the temperature to about 725 degrees centigrade with an average high of around 600 miles. Finally comes the outer layer called exosphere where gas basically vents away from the planet’s surface into space.

All this gas, turbulence and difference in pressure temperature makes for a violent planet with storms raging for centuries and no shore in sight.