How Fast Does the Wind Blow on Jupiter?
ES2704  Measuring Wind Speed

The image below shows how Jupiter would look if its surface was flattened out. Similar to a global map of Earth, Jupiter's equator runs across the center of the image, and distance north or south of the equator is measured by latitude.

Scientists measure wind speeds on Jupiter by tracking the motion of features within the cloud bands over time. Six features are marked with black arrows.

  !   Click each dot to see an animation of the feature moving, then measure the distance it traveled. Record the latitude, distance, and time for each feature in the table on your answer sheet.

CICLOPS
Cloud Feature Map

3. In the table, record the latitude, distance, and time of travel for each of the six features.

4. Calculate the speed of each feature and record it in the table.

To calculate wind speed, divide the distance by the time. (Speed = Distance / Time) Remember, if the feature moves from west to east (left to right), the speed is positive; if it moves from east to west (right to left), show the speed as negative.

5. The fastest wind speed ever recorded on Earth is 513 km/hr (318 miles per hour), measured during a May 1999 tornado in Oklahoma. How does the fastest wind speed you measured for Jupiter compare to this?


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