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Jupiter is the Great Red Spot is growing larger as it shrinks… and turning orange

Jupiter, with its Great Red Spot churning south of the gas giant’s equator.

(A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA/ESA)

Jupiter is the Great Red Spot is shrinking more than a century and a half, and in recent years has a deep amber color. Scientists are tracking these changes to see how the iconic spot morphing, as well as how it could break apart completely in the future, according to a new study.

A team of researchers created a timeline for the reduction of the cyclone by watching the archived observations of the Great Red Spot, according to a recent statement from NASA. For the track of the storm, the size, the color, the drift rate and shape, they combined these historical findings with the spacecraft data goes as far back as in 1979, the two Voyager missions, as well as data obtained from the annual observations carried out with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the Outer Planets Atmospheres of the Legacy project. [Jupiter is the Great Red Spot: A Monster Storm in Photos ]

A surprising finding is that the Great Red Spot is growing larger. This study, led by Amy Simon, planetary atmospheres expert at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, found that the diameter of the storm is getting smaller and smaller, but the clouds are stretching to the top.

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NASA releases ‘unearthly’ photos of Jupiter

NASA’s Juno probe captured images of Jupiter that show wind-sculpted tires that are almost 1900 km, and the massive storms around the planet the north and south poles.

“It’s almost like clay on a potter’s wheel,” NASA official Elizabeth Zubritsky said in a recent statement about the findings. “As the wheel rotates, an artist can transform a short, round bump in a long, thin vase by pushing it with his hands. The smaller he makes the basis, the larger the ship will grow.”

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  • Jupiter is the Great Red Spot: A Monster Storm in Photos

Jupiter is the Great Red Spot is thought to be so great that at one point would have contained three Worlds within the width, according to NASA. With effect from 3 April 2017, the storm was 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers wide, slightly larger than the Earth diameter.

Researchers do not know why the storm has more intense orange since 2014, but suppose it is possible that the increasing height of the Great Red Spot may be the cause. As the storm stretches to above, the chemical substances that give color to the storm-perhaps higher up in the atmosphere, where they would receive more UV radiation from the sun and so is darker.

“If the trends we see in the Great Red Spot remain, the next five to 10 years could be very interesting from a dynamic point of view,” said Rick Cosentino, co-author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at Goddard. “We could see the rapid changes in the storm of the physical appearance and behavior, and perhaps the red spot will ultimately not be as good.”

The study was published on 13 March in the Astronomical Journal.

Original article on Space.com.

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