I understood the meaning of the sentence literally but that's not enough to understand the process. Could you explain how that works? Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ Why would you remove the image from all your questions? That's basically the only part that gives context. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ While this is a closed question, in visible light, not all gases have distinct color. Oxygen and Nitrogen (and water vapor, Argon and CO2) are largely transparent, which is why Earth's atmosphere is largely transparent to visible light with a slight blue color. Clouds are tiny droplets or particles of ice and not transparent. Heavier gases and larger molecules tend to have more color, which gives Jupiter it's brownish color. Saturn is cold enough to be largely enveloped by atmosphere carrying tiny methane ice crystals in it's upper atmosphere giving it a more reflective and lighter color. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


The answer is chemistry in this case.

In terms of Hydrogen and Helium the atmospheres of the gas giants have atmospheres that most likely didn't change much since the formation of the solar system. In heavier elements however the gas giants are enriched (compared to the sun's atmosphere, which we think is the most original gas still around).
Such a mixture of elements, given at the pressures and temperatures in Saturn's atmosphere (as well as in Jupiter's) will form large amounts of Ammonia naturally by equilibrium chemistry.
If then the amount of Ammonia reaches vapour saturation, clouds will form as a result.


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