The Color of Jovian Planets, Essay Example

This paper discusses the atmospheric structures of the Jovian planets in our solar system.  They are all very similar except that each of the atmospheres are getting cooler as they further increase their distance from the influence of the sun. The cloud structure impacts the various color schemes that these planets represent. These gaseous cloud layers and the altitude each represents determines how these clouds condense into liquid droplets or flakes.

 The Jovian Planets:  These are identified as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.  The outer atmospheres are mainly gaseous consisting of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter is the largest and most colorful of all these planets. The cloud structure around Jupiter causes various spectrums of color including that of Red, Brown, Oranges and Whites. It is the chemical compositions within the cloud formations that cause these colors. They are in a perpetual state of change. Similar interactions may be found on Saturn.  The Ammonia clouds of Jupiter are white in coloration so the appearance of other colors indicates more chemicals in the atmosphere. These may be hydro carbons, sulphurs or phosphorous chemicals. (Stour 2013)

The smaller planets of Uranus and Neptune are much further from the sun in our solar system. They are less spectacular in color that Jupiter and Saturn.  The large planets have atmospheres that comprise of hydrogen and helium. The smaller planets being mainly that of methane; with Uranus having no real atmosphere just a featureless haze.

Conclusion:  The variations in color on the Jovian planets is caused by the various changes in state of the different chemical compositions within the gaseous clouds of the planets.  It is the constant state of change that creates the colorful formations on Jupiter. The sheer vast size of the planet making it appear so colorful.


Stour, S. 2013. Jovian/Outer Planets Lecture Notes. 7 15. Accessed July Monday, 2013.