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Originally posted by lostinspace
Seems like Jupiter and Saturn are similar in many ways, with the exception of a spotty southern hemisphere and the lack of a major ring system.
The Coriolis effects that are responsible for cyclones and anti-cyclones on Earth are greatly magnified on Jupiter, which has a rotational frequency about 2 1/2 times that of Earth, but this alone would not account for the persistence and size of the Great Red Spot. There are other features similar to the Great Red Spot on the surface (note the white spots in the above images) but none are as large as the Great Red Spot.
Presumably the persistence of the Great Red Spot is related to the fact that it never comes over land, as in the case of a hurricane on Earth, and that it is driven by Jupiter's internal heat source. Computer simulations suggest that such large disturbances may be stable on Jupiter, and that stronger disturbances tend to absorb weaker ones, which may explain the size of the Great Red Spot. Furthermore, as for the clouds in general, we do not understand fully the reason for the coloring. It has been suggested that certain compounds of phosphorous are responsible for the reddish-brown hue, but this remains somewhat speculative. Thus, we understand the broad properties, but not all the detailed features of this remarkable phenomenon.