Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking

Jupiter's Great Red Spot might want to turn up with a new nickname because not only has the spot contracted down to its minimum measure ever, its form is also changing. In the 1800s, Jupiter's Great Red Spot was measured at above 25,000 miles across. Now, that amount is at 10,250 and dropping. Since 2012, Jupiter's red spot has been reducing in diameter by more than 500 miles per year. As it becomes smaller and smaller, its figure is also shifting from an oval to a circle.
Image Credit: NASA /ESA

The great red spot at its current size is still larger than Earth. The great red spot is made by a gigantic, anticyclonic storm. Scientists suspect minor changes in its composition are the cause of decrease in size, however, as yet, it's still unsolved.

Recent NASA HubbleSpace Telescope observations approve that the Great Red Spot now is almost 10,250 miles across. Astronomers have tracked this downscaling since the 1930s. Famous observations as far back as the late 1800s measured the storm to be as huge as 25,500 miles on its long axis.  NASA’s Voyager 1 Spacecraft and Voyager 2 Spacecraft in 1979 measured it to be about 14,500 miles across. In 1995, a Hubble Space Telescope photo exposed the long axis of the spot at a projected 13,020 miles across. And in a photo snapped in 2009, it was measured to be 11,130 miles across.

Amy Simon of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland says:

"In our new observations it is apparent very small eddies are feeding into the storm. We hypothesized these may be responsible for the accelerated change by altering the internal dynamics and energy of the Great Red Spot."

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