Jupiter’s Iconic Great Red Spot Is Shrinking Again

The Great Red Spot present on Jupiter has fascinated humanity for several decades, as it is under direct observation since 1830. A new paper argues that the clouds which compose the spot tend to shrink.

Researchers argue that the current horizontal dimensions meet the estimations which were made with the help of the data collected by the Voyager spacecraft in 1979. The thickness of the storm clouds cannot be measured directly by using current technology, but it appears to be consistent.

During the study, researchers have employed several computer simulations while also performing a number of salt-water experiments within a Plexiglas tank. These experiments allowed the researchers to learn more about the forces that determine the unusual shapes of the storm clouds. Harnessed data offered the opportunity to perform vertical and horizontal measurements.

Great Red Spot of Jupiter appears to decrease in size

In recent times several controversies have been sparked by researchers who argue that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking, with recent reports inferring that the clouds are actually smaller than they used to be. The authors of the new study have decided to wait until Juno sends more information related to the planet.

Juno has been exploring the planet since 2016, and it passes across the poles of the planet every 53 days. The massive gas giant remains a source of enigmas for many researchers. A study published in 2019 claimed that Jupiter might have clashed with another planet almost 4.5 billion years ago.

The icy moons which surround the planet are also fascinating. A major focus is placed on Jupiter’s Europa, which appears to possess all the traits that make it an inhabitable planet for humans. It is hard to pinpoint the chemical structure of the oceans present on the frozen moon, but researchers have spotted traces of sodium chlorate on the surface. NASA will launch a new mission-related to Europa in the following years, and it is likely that more data will be available in the future.

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