Astronomy Picture of the Day

Jupiter and the Red Spots

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#86585 by @ 06.05.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Jupiter and the Red Spots


Jupiter's Great Red Spot
is a swirling storm seen for over 300 years, since the beginning of

But in February 2006, planetary imager
Christopher Go noticed it
had been joined by Red Spot Jr - formed
as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms
merged and then developed the remarkable reddish hue.

This sharp Hubble Space Telescope
image showing the two salmon-colored Jovian storms
was recorded in April.

About half the size of the original Red Spot,
Red Spot Jr.
is similar in diameter to planet Earth.

Seen here below and left of the ancient storm system,
it trails the Great Red Spot by about an hour as
the planet rotates from left to right.

While astronomers still don't exactly understand why
Jupiter's red spots are red,
they do think the appearance of Red Spot Jr. provides
evidence for climate change on the
Solar System's ruling gas giant.

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