Jupiter, taken from a mosaic of shots by the Cassini spacecraft on 29 December 2000. Passing at a distance of 10 million kilometres, Cassini provided the most detailed images of the planet yet produced. Jupiter is a gas giant and, with a diameter 11 times that of Earth, the largest planet in the Solar System. Powerful jet streams create bands of coloured clouds in the planet’s atmosphere, dotted with spots marking atmospheric disturbances; which can persist for many years. The largest such spot is the Great Red Spot (below centre). The clouds are made of ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and water. (Photo by Science Photo Library)
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