Friday, March 16, 2018

Great Red Spot Growing Taller as Area Shrinks

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


Image credit: NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstaedt / Sean Doran.
Image credit: NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstaedt / Sean Doran.
 A new study conducted by scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has found that Jupiter's Great Red Spot is growing in height and deepening in colour. This goes against former expectations as the storm as been diminishing in area over the past few centuries.
 By analyzing data from annual observations of Jupiter gathered through the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) project, the scientists traced the evolution of the storm. The scientists analyzed the size, shape colour and drift rate of the Great Red Spot. Furthermore, they also examined the storm's internal wind speeds.
 The study confirmed that the Great Red Spot has been decreasing in length overall since 1878 and is now large enough to accommodate just over one Earth at this point. However, instead of winds speeds becoming even stronger, the scientists found that the storm appeared to be forcing itself to stretch up.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a spinning, cyclone-like storm south of Jupiter's equator. Since 1830, the storm has been monitored, however estimates suggest it may have existed for another 350 years prior.

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