Jupiters Great Red Spot may be dying and could disappear within our lifetimes
With the exception of Saturn and its iconic rings, Jupiter is probably the most recognizable planet in our Solar System. Its long, thick stripes are unlike anything else in our little celestial neighborhood, but its the massive swirling storm called the Great Red Spot that really catches our eyes. It’s been raging for centuries, but that might be about to change, as scientists now believe that the storm is actually dying down, and could disappear entirely within a couple of decades.
The incredibly intense storm, which is large enough that it could swallow Earth whole, is being closely watched by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for over six years, and in since arriving it’s made some stunning observations regarding the planet’s impressive weather patterns. The Great Red Spot is a result of powerful jet streams which spin in opposite directions, but they won’t be able to keep churning forever.
“In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time,” Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider . The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it’s rapidly losing steam. “Now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth,” Orton says. “Nothing lasts forever.” – READ MORE
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