The Great Red Spot is Changing Shape

great red spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a swirling anticyclonic storm that was previously large enough to fit three Earths inside.  However, observations taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revealed that this is changing, both in shape and size.

So why is Jupiter’s trademark feature beginning to downsize?

jupiter, great red spotIt is currently believed that the shrinking storm is caused by small eddies feeding into the gas giant’s feature.  This is, however, just speculation.

The Great Red Spot was once an oval shape but now is quite circular and measures just under 16,500 kilometers (10,253 miles) across.  This is much smaller than what it used to be.  At one point it spanned 41,000 kilometers (25,476 miles)–large enough to fit three Earths side by side.

Astronomers have always thought that the great storm would shrink in size.  Since 2012 it has decreased in size by around 1,000 kilometers (621) miles per year.

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