Close-up of Jupiter's Great Red Spot as seen by a Voyager spacecraft.
An image of Saturn taken in December 2010 by the Cassini spacecraft shows a storm with a latitudinal and longitudinal extent of 10,000 km and 17,000 km, respectively. The latitudinal extent of the storm’s head is approximately the distance from London to Cape Town. A "tail" emerging from its southern edge extends further eastward.
Astronaut Ron Garan tweeted this picture of Hurricane Irene from the International Space Station on August 24, 2011: "Ominous view #FromSpace of Hurricane #Irene east of the Bahamas @ 3:14pm EST today. East FL coast is calm b4 storm."
Neptune's Great Dark Spot, accompanied by white high-altitude clouds, as seen by a Voyager spacecraft.
The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose surrounded by green foliage in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The storm's eye is about 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 mph (530 kph).
The north pole of Saturn, in the fresh light of spring, is revealed in this color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
This spectacular false-color image from NASA's Cassini mission highlights the storms at Saturn's north pole.
A bizarre six-sided feature encircling the north pole of Saturn near 78 degrees north latitude has been spied by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011: A huge storm on Saturn has developed from a small spot that appeared 12 weeks earlier in Saturn's northern mid-latitudes. This storm, still active, is the largest and most intense observed on Saturn by NASA’s Voyager or Cassini spacecraft. As seen in these and other Cassini images, the storm encircles the planet — whose circumference at these latitudes is 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers). From north to south, it covers a distance of about 9,000 miles (15,000 kilometers), which is one-third of the way around the Earth. It encompasses an area of 1.5 billion square miles (4 billion square kilometers), or eight times the surface area of Earth. The frames at top are enlargements from the middle mosaic consisting of 84 separate images.
A stalk-like prominence rose up above the sun, then split into roughly four strands that twisted themselves into a knot and dispersed over a two-hour period (July 12, 2011). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took a video of the sun twister.
Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer discovered an unexpected "hot spot" at Saturn's north pole. Despite being in winter darkness for more than a decade, the hot, cyclonic vortex at upon Saturn's northernmost reaches appears very similar to that found on Saturn's much sunnier south pole, and it surprised scientists with its appearance. This image was taken Jan. 3, 2008.
Jupiter's most familiar feature is swirling mass of clouds that are higher and cooler than surrounding ones. Called the Great Red Spot, it has been likened to a great hurricane and is caused by tremendous winds that develop above the rapidly spinning planet.
Saturn's north polar hexagon appears to be a long-lived feature of the atmosphere, having been spotted in images of Saturn in the early 1980s, again in the 1990s, and then by the Cassini spacecraft in the past several years. The persistent nature of the hexagon in imaging observations implies that it is present throughout Saturn's 29-year seasonal cycle. Two sides of the hexagon are seen here on Aug. 25, 2008.
Hubble snaps baby pictures of Jupiter's Red Spot Jr.
Red spots on Jupiter, photographed on Feb. 27, 2006.
At left is a false-color composite near-infrared image of Jupiter and its moon Io, taken by the Keck II telescope. At right is a closeup of the two red spots through a 5-micron filter, which samples thermal radiation from deep in the cloud layer. Red Spot Jr. appears darker, either because its clouds are less dense or because the tops of the clouds are not as high as those of the larger spot.
The Aqua satellite's MODIS instrument captured this image of Hurricane Wilma on October 23, 2005.
Mars on Oct. 27 and 28, 2005 as the dust storm emerged.
Hubble image of Mars taken on October 28, 2005. This image shows a 930-mile long dust storm raging across the equator.
The image shows the storm as it appeared to the Cassini imaging system on Jan. 27, 2006. No lightning flashes are visible in the image. They would look like medium-sized bright spots, since the light would spread out before it reaches the cloud tops. Non-detection does not mean that the lightning is absent, however. Lightning might be too faint to stand out above background or too deep to be seen through the thick clouds.
A 5,000-mile-wide hurricane-like storm swirls at Saturn's south pole. Note the well defined eye.
Infrared images from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter show how the dust storm is blocking sunlight to the planet's surface. Opacity decreases from left to right on the scale bar. The purple areas are nearly clear, while the red regions show roughly a two-thirds reduction in sunlight.
A polar vortex in 3-D at Venus' south pole, as seen by the VIRTIS instrument on board ESA's Venus Express.
Ground-based images of the two bright plumes and the disturbance on April 5, 2007 at two different wavelengths: infrared (left) and visible (right).
These two side-by-side views show the longest-lived electrical storm yet observed on Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. On the left is a view of the storm as it would look to the human eye, while an enhanced version to bring out the storm is at right.
This is a side-by-side view of large cyclones at the north (left) and south (right) poles of Saturn taken in June 2008 by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer onboard the Cassini spacecraft.
New thermal images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and other ground-based telescopes show swirls of warmer air and cooler regions never seen before within Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. The image on the left was obtained with the VISIR on the VLT in Chile on 18 May 2008. The image on the right was obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope on 15 May 2008.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured the first lightning flashes on Saturn when it captured these images on August 17, 2009.
The Storm of the Century in 1993.
Saturn's stratospheric beacons (atmospheric responses to the storm plumes deep below in the troposphere) are still present to this day. This ESO/VLT view shows features on a number of days in January and February 2011. The left hand image shows Saturn's normal quiescent stratosphere in March 2010, 9 months before the outbreak of the storm.
This photograph shows the last face on view of the Great Dark Spot that Voyager will make with the narrow angle camera. The image was shuttered 45 hours before closest approach at a distance of 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles). The smallest structures that can be seen are of an order of 50 kilometers (31 miles)