In Jupiter’s Great Red Spot the winds in the outermost lane are accelerating!


In Jupiter’s Great Red Spot the winds in the outermost lane are accelerating. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made this discovery possible and the telescope is said to be monitoring the planet for more than a decade. It was found that from 2009 to 2020, the average wind speed just within the boundaries of the storm has increased by up to 8%. This was found by the researchers who analyzed the telescope regular storm report. This storm is known as a high-speed ring. The wind near the red spot’s innermost region is moving significantly more slowly.

The picture, taken on 25 August 2020, was taken when Jupiter was 653 million kilometers from Earth. The sharp view taken by the telescope gives researchers an updated weather report on Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere which includes a great new storm. The planet’s icy moon Europa is also featured in the image.

At speeds that exceed 400 miles per hour, the massive storm’s crimson-colored clouds spin counterclockwise. The vortex is more significant than Earth itself. Humans have been observing the red spot for more than 150 years. Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who contributed analysis, said they do not have a storm chaser plane at Jupiter, so wind on the planets cannot be continuously measured. With Hubble, they have the precision they need to spot a trend.

The ongoing monitors of the telescope allow the researchers to revisit and analyze its data very precisely as it keeps adding more data. The smallest features the telescope can reveal in the storm are a mere 105 miles across. To analyze the data, each time Hubble observed Jupiter, software was used to track tens to hundreds of thousands of wind vectors The meaning of the increased speed is hard to find out as Hubble can’t see the bottom of the storm very well. In the data, anything below the cloud tops is invisible. But the data revealed by the Hubble is interesting will help the scientists to understand what is fueling the Red Spot and how energy is maintained.

From Jupiter’s interior, the Great Red Spot is an upwelling of material. If seen from the side, the storm would have looked like a wedding cake structure with high clouds at the center cascading down to its outer layers. It is shrinking in size astronomers have found and becoming more circular than oval in observations spanning more than a century. The current diameter is 10,000 miles across.

From Hubble’s Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program, the majority of data to support this research came. Annual Hubble global views are provided by this program which includes a view of the outer planets. All these allow astronomers to look for changes in the planet’s clouds, winds, and storms.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope launched into low orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. This telescope is one of the versatile and largest and known for its public relations boon for astronomy and vital research tool. It is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. Hubble has conducted more than ten years of regular observations and has acted like a storm watcher for the planets in the solar system.


About the author

Tina Hayden

Tina is a freelance writer based in Maine. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism at Temple University. She has written several high-level documentations for local magazine. She loves to travel and vlog her vacations when she is not writing.

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