Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is Shrinking

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — one of the most iconic and well known features in the solar system — is shrinking, and nobody knows why.

Great Red Spot is Shrinking

The so-called “Great Red Spot” is a violent storm, which in the late 1800s was estimated to be about 40,000 kilometres in diameter – wide enough for three Earths to fit side by side.

The storm, which is the biggest in the solar system, appears as a deep red orb surrounded by layers of pale yellow, orange and white.

Winds inside the storm have been measured at several hundreds of kilometres per hour.

By the time NASA’s Voyager space probes flew by in 1979 and 1980, the spot was down to about 22,500 kilometres across.

Now, new pictures taken by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope show Jupiter’s red spot is smaller than it has ever been, measuring less than 16,100 kilometres in diameter. It also appears more circular in shape.

Scientists aren’t sure why the Great Red Spot is shrinking by about 1000 kilometres a year. Learn more here, here or here.

Advertisements

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: