Hubble images of Jupiter reveal the Great Red Spot is dwindling

Hubble images of Jupiter reveal the Great Red Spot is dwindling

The Spot has been studied for nearly 300 years and within the last decades, as imaging technology advanced, it was discovered that the storm was shrinking a rapid pace. Scientists theorize that the storm is now half the size that it was 100 years ago.

High definition images of Jupiter reveal that its Great Red Spot has shrunk by 150 miles.

The signature Great Red Spot of Jupiter is in fact a massive storm twice the size of Earth. Images of the planet taken over a 10-hour period by the Hubble Space Telescope combine to create a stunning video of Jupiter. It is part of a program to create updated ‘portraits’ of all the planets, something that has not been done since the 1970s.

These images reveal that the Great Red Spot has shrunk considerably since 2014. The Spot has been studied for nearly 300 years and within the last decades, as imaging technology advanced, it was discovered that the storm was shrinking a rapid pace. Scientists theorize that the storm is now half the size that it was 100 years ago.

Also, the Great Red Spot is not as red as it once was. The new images show that the colors of the storm are less vibrant compared with previous pictures.

It is not known when or if the Spot will ever vanish completely. The storm could be going through a sort of cyclical downturn. However, it looks increasingly likely that one day the iconic feature of Jupiter will cease to exist.

Astronomers are able to measure the storm and even to calculate its wind speeds (over 400 miles per hour). Yet, to this day, we are still not sure what the Great Red Spot is or what causes it. The atmospheric system it creates within the atmosphere of Jupiter is large than the atmosphere of Earth. Complicating the issue further is the fact that the thick gases of Jupiter obscure the land beneath (if there is any), frustrating scientists’ attempts to see the base of the storm.

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