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The shrinking of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

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The shrinking of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Hubble snaps stormy region at its smallest size ever

Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot - a swirling storm feature larger than Earth - is shrinking. This downsizing, which is changing the shape of the spot from an oval into a circle, has been known about since the 1930s, but now these striking new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images capture the spot at a smaller size than ever before.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a churning anticyclonic storm. It shows up in images of the giant planet as a conspicuous deep red eye embedded in swirling layers of pale yellow, orange and white. Winds inside this Jovian storm rage at immense speeds, reaching several hundreds of kilometres per hour.

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Pan across Jupiter

This video shows a pan across the surface of Jupiter, revealing the Great Red Spot - a storm which rages on its surface - and which Hubble images have shown to be shrinking.

Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) Music: movetwo

Source: ESA Hubble Site

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Jupiter’s shrinking spot

This video shows where Jupiter’s trademark spot can be found on its surface and showcases the comparison images that demonstrate how the spot has shrunk over the last nineteen years.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Science Credit: A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), G. Orton (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), J. Rogers (University of Cambridge, UK), and M. Wong and I. dePater (University of California, Berkeley) Acknowledgment: H. Hammel (SSI and AURA) and R. Beebe (NMSU)

Source: ESA Hubble Site

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Jupiter's shrinking spot

This video shows where Jupiter's trademark spot can be found on its surface and showcases the comparison images that demonstrate how the spot has shrunk over the last nineteen years.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Science Credit: A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), G. Orton (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), J. Rogers (University of Cambridge, UK), and M. Wong and I. dePater (University of California, Berkeley) Acknowledgment: H. Hammel (SSI and AURA) and R. Beebe (NMSU)

Source: ESA Hubble Site

I noticed a smaller red spot in the video slightly south of the same latitude as the Great Red Spot. Could these two be interacting (assuming that one occasionally overtakes the other) and the smaller one is disrupting or stealing energy from the larger one? Also does the reduction in size have anything to do with solar output since the sun drives cyclones on the earth?

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I noticed a smaller red spot in the video slightly south of the same latitude as the Great Red Spot. Could these two be interacting (assuming that one occasionally overtakes the other) and the smaller one is disrupting or stealing energy from the larger one?

I suppose it's possible, however, if that were the case I would think that you would expect to see a corresponding increase in size of the smaller spot.

Other red spots hae come and gone before without changing the size of the GRS, so I have my doubts.

Also does the reduction in size have anything to do with solar output since the sun drives cyclones on the earth?

This is also unlikely. Jupiter's surface temperature is driven more by internal heat than it is from energy received by the Sun.

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Well I guess even storms than never make landfall eventually die out. Somehow that makes me feel philosophical.

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Well I guess even storms than never make landfall eventually die out. Somehow that makes me feel philosophical.

Don't write off the GRS just yet. It may still recover.

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We all pass puberty eventually and to face adult life spot free...

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Its not only a circular storm its a pulsing storm so shrinking and expanding are natural features of the spot.

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I find it enthralling to watch the surface of Jupiter change in our lifetimes. Let's see where it goes because it may stop shrinking or regain strength but the rapidity of change is something unique I think

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It's obviously caused by man-made global warming, so we've got to tax everyone in order to stop it.

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It's obviously caused by man-made global warming, so we've got to tax everyone in order to stop it.

Let call Al Gore for carbon credits for Jupiter. We might get enough money to send a probe.

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That's pretty cool this storm is the size of the earth.i wonder what will happen when the storm stops

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Its a pity we can't bombard this planet with "lots" of probes that can go really deep down inside it. Ones with cameras and lights too that can take immense pressure and heat. The one dropped by Galileo didn't even scratch the surface.

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Posted (edited)

(It's Obama's fault.)

I am glad I live in a time when we witness such things.

edit to add

I didn't put that in bold type and it won't edit it to regular type.

Edited by GreenmansGod

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There's 2 events that can be told to future generations about Jupiter. The comet that impacted Jupiter and the Great Red Spot.

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Must be due to carbon emissions. We need better carbon taxes... Yarg! Sorry folks, see it's already posted.

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