Jupiter Clouds in Motion in Google Earth

Jupiter cloud animation in Google EarthGoogle Earth lets you do whole planet image overlays, so you can turn Earth into other planets if you want (see below for other examples). A few days ago, Google Earth Community member ‘barnabu’ posted a time animation of the planet Jupiter taken by the NASA Cassini spacecraft in the year 2000 over a period of 24 Jovian rotations. The same side of Jupiter is shown in each frame so you see the motion of the clouds. The time animation is viewable in the new Google Earth 4 (v 4.0.2091 or greater). After loading the Jupiter animation (1.8 MBytes), you will see the time slider gadget in the upper part of the screen. First, turn off the Earth’s atmosphere by using the menu “View->Atmosphere“. You can either move the slider manually, or click on the triangular “Play” on the right side of the gadget. I recommend changing the speed of the animation by clicking on the clock gadget to the left and making the speed faster. The first time through you have to load all the images. After that it should animate quickly if you have a reasonable amount of graphics memory on your computer. The motion of the clouds are really cool, especially the great red spot. For fun, spin GE to while the animation is going. Amazing! See this NASA page for more details on the Jupiter images. Great work as usual ‘barnabu’!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Alex Panayi says:

    Jupiter is very big.

  2. I did not know that. Thank you for that wonderfull piece of information.

  3. jupiter is not really big compared to the sun.but the sun is even extreme tiny in the galaxy.

  4. This site is so usefull for school!


  6. fantastic, viewed jupiter last night with 3 moons visable………..amazing. How insignificant are we?

  7. In the “Solar System Intro” page, I clicked on “In Motion”. Now I want to turn it off. How do I do that? I’m even considering re-installing it. What do I do?

  8. alex petersen says:

    that is awesome but where is the red giant oh well jupiter is intreguing isnt it by the way i dont know alot about space…really…jupiter is awesome though p.s.im not that smart caus…im 11

  9. i cant get in motion to start it just keeps sending me to the pinwheel galaxy

  10. Jupiter, like Earth have the electricity 🙂 And the big red is an eye ! 😛

  11. Dylan Ong Chen Xi says:

    The Jupiter seems to had a great red spot but what is that big white eye at the top of the red spot?

  12. This week Juno finally reached Jupiter. It took more than 5 years to get there. So now the real excitement begins!!

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