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News Picks : Jupiter's Great Red Spot continues to shrink

By: Physics Today
16 May 2014
Ars Technica: Images from Hubble‘s Wide Field Camera show that a giant storm on Jupiter called the Great Red Spot has shrunk to 16 500 km in diameter. When the Voyager probes passed the planet in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the spot spanned 23 000 km. And observations from the 1800s suggest that it was then more than 40 000 km wide. Hubble takes pictures of Jupiter regularly, but amateur astronomers were the first to notice that the rate of shrinking increased in 2012. The storm is powered by bands of fast-moving air in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Andy Simon of NASA suggests that a series of eddies above the spot may be limiting the flow of those bands and slowly starving the storm of energy.


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