One of the things the whole world has been watching closely is the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, that stands out to be the most defining feature of the planet. In the light of the writings of the 16th century, it has been speculated that the Jupiter’s “permanent spot” might refer to a wild storm. Also, in the 18th century, the spot was carefully observed, and was estimated to be around 25,476 miles in width, and it was thought that it would be so big that it could absorb three earths.
However, the latest observations show that the Red Spot is gradually contracting. When NASA‘s Voyager traveled across it in 1970 and then in 1980 again, it estimated that the spot would have a width of around 14,500 miles. A recent image taken from the Hubble Space Telescope spots the storming anticyclone at an even smaller size.
In his statement, Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said, “recent Hubble Space Telescope observations confirm that the spot is now just under 16,500 kilometers (about 10,252 miles) across, the smallest diameter we’ve ever measured.”
According to NASA, the spot is not only shrinking, but the pace at which it is doing so, is also faster than ever. However, the cause is still unknown.
Simon, who aims in studying these eddies further, said, “In our new observations it is apparent that very small eddies are feeding into the storm. We hypothesized that these may be responsible for the accelerated change by altering the internal dynamics of the Great Red Spot.”
The winds close to the spot, much like a storm that has been raging for many years, rotate in a counterclockwise direction, and are evaluated to reach at a speed of 450 miles per hour at the edge of the storm. Even if we consider its present size, the spot still is capable of swallowing our whole planet. However, the good thing is that Jupiter is more than 350 million miles from the earth.