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Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking

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posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:35 AM
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Scientists have noticed that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter is getting smaller. Between 1996 and 2006 the storm shrank by 15%. It was losing 1 km per day over that time. Xylar Asay-Davis, Philip Marcus, Imke de Pater, Michael Wong and Sushil Shetty developed software to track the spot and the band of winds around it to try to get an accurate measurement of the size. The shape of the storm has been changing over time, indicating that the band outside the storm is weakening.


Everything about Jupiter is super-sized, including its colorful, turbulent atmosphere. But there's fresh evidence that one of the planet's most recognizable features, the Great Red Spot, is shrinking.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft photographed Jupiter and its Great Red Spot, seen center near the equator, in 2000.

The spot, which is actually an ancient monster storm that measures about three Earths across, lost 15 percent of its diameter between 1996 and 2006, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found.

It shrank by about 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles) a day during that time period, said Xylar Asay-Davis, a postdoctoral researcher who was part of the study.

Astronomers have observed for years that the clouds of the Great Red Spot have been waning, but this newest research focused on the motion of the storm -- a much more reliable way to measure its size, Asay-Davis said.

He and fellow Berkeley researchers Philip Marcus, Imke de Pater, Michael Wong and Sushil Shetty developed software that tracked the movement of the spot's cloud patterns over long periods of time.

www.cnn.com...




posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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Wow! I wonder what immense chemical reactions and weather patterns are happening to cause the shrinking?
Sure is a question to ponder!


Sometimes it's nice to look at something besides ourselves.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:45 AM
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Jupiter global warming? Too much carbon emissions? Or the flavor of the month: the red spot will completely disappear on 12-12-2012!



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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Like all storms come to an end. The Great red spot will die off one day.


And that day is in the near future it seems.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:56 AM
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Jupiter is preparing to ignite?


Come on.....someone had to say it



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:18 AM
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From what I understand the great red spot storm is a super hurricane that has been raging on Jupiter observed the last 300 years. This storm has a typical life span that will eventually come to an end due to friction from other jet stream bands pushing high pressure against the storm. but weather conditions that exist on the gas giant will make another storm again.

Even though gas has a lower friction level than solids means that there is much less to take out the storms strength but eventually it will sputter out. Most likely you will see the weakening of this storm through it breaking off into different weather patterns, possibly smaller storms like those that appear in south of the great red spot. Higher pressure in the atmosphere will reign over the area for some time.

Then the pressure will dissipate in the area again, smaller storms will form, then they will eat each other up, eventually creating another spot.

The interesting thing to me is what gas on Jupiter will the new low pressure will capture?

Will different weather conditions cause the spot once it appears again to pick up other gas? Possibly changing the color of the spot?

Jupiter seems to have separated the different gasses in it's atmosphere along horizontal paths each seemingly a different gas. I wonder how often the gasses mix together on the planet to form new elements?



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by whatukno
From what I understand the great red spot storm is a super hurricane that has been raging on Jupiter observed the last 300 years.


I don't think we exactly know how long it has been going on, just that it was first observed by humans, 300 years ago. It could have an even longer duration period. I have been surprised it has lasted so long considering the immense power being generated by that weather system.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by pavil
I have been surprised it has lasted so long considering the immense power being generated by that weather system.


Its not surprising if you look at some alternative theories of how the universe work:

The Electric Universe



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 04:08 PM
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It's still shrinking:

hubblesite.org...

I reckon when that bitch hits zero our collective asses are grass. That's just my optimist talking.



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