Jupiter's Great Red Spot Getting Taller as it Shrinks, NASA Team Finds

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Jupiter's Great Red Spot Getting Taller as it Shrinks, NASA Team Finds

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:19 pm

Observations of Jupiter date back centuries, but the first confirmed sighting of the Great Red Spot was in 1831. (Researchers aren’t certain whether earlier observers who saw a red spot on Jupiter were looking at the same storm.)

Keen observers have long been able to measure the size and drift of the Great Red Spot by fitting their telescopes with an eyepiece scored with crosshairs. A continuous record of at least one observation of this kind per year dates back to 1878.

Simon and her colleagues drew on this rich archive of historical observations and combined them with data from NASA spacecraft, starting with the two Voyager missions in 1979. In particular, the group relied on a series of annual observations of Jupiter that team members have been conducting with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy, or OPAL, project. The OPAL team scientists are based at Goddard, the University of California at Berkeley, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California,

The team traced the evolution of the Great Red Spot, analyzing its size, shape, color  and drift rate. They also looked at the storm’s internal wind speeds, when that information was available from spacecraft.

The new findings indicate that the Great Red Spot recently started to drift westward faster than before. The storm always stays at the same latitude, held there by jet streams to the north and south, but it circles the globe in the opposite direction relative to the planet’s eastward rotation. Historically, it’s been assumed that this drift is more or less constant, but in recent observations, the team found the spot is zooming along much faster.

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Re: Jupiter's Great Red Spot Getting Taller as it Shrinks, NASA Team Finds

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:21 pm



This video takes viewers on a journey to Jupiter, where NASA scientists have made an interesting discovery about the Great Red Spot.


 
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