APR 10, 2018 7:28 PM PDT

How Much Do You Know About Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


One of the most discernable features to be found on Jupiter is the Great Red Spot (GRS). It's ultimately an anticyclone that has existed for hundreds of years, but it's unlike any storm we'd expect to find here on Earth.

Unlike a cyclone on Earth, Jupiter's GRS rotates counter-clockwise and measures nearly 10,000 miles across. Scientists also think that it penetrates 200 miles or deeper into Jupiter's atmosphere. To say this thing is big would be an understatement.

But it may not stay that way forever. In fact, scientists say Jupiter's GRS is shrinking. Furthermore, it's shrinking so quickly that it could disappear entirely within the next two decades or so.

If scientists are right, then Jupiter's GRS could become more circular over time until opposing forces eventually wipe it from the face of the planet. Its disappearance would be bittersweet as the GRS has become an iconic piece of Jupiter's personality, but it would also validate some of the physics behind its existence that scientists have only been able to guess about in modern times.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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