NASA spacecraft have discovered that Jupiter’s swirling ‘Great Red Spot,’ the solar system’s largest storm, is deeper than we previously thought.


NASA spacecraft have discovered that Jupiter’s swirling ‘Great Red Spot,’ the largest storm in our solar system, is deeper than we previously thought.

Jupiter is not only our solar system’s largest planet, but it also hosts the solar system’s largest storm, known as the “Great Red Spot.” Until now, we’ve only been able to observe the storm from afar, but NASA’s Juno spacecraft, launched a decade ago, has shed some light on what’s going on beneath the planet’s red and white clouds.

The Juno mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in 2016.

In 2019, the spacecraft took a slight detour and passed twice over the Great Red Spot.

According to the report, the Great Red Spot resembles a storm on Earth, but it is much larger.

Paul Byrne, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, was quoted by NPR.

“It’s basically clouds,” Louis explained, adding that “it’s not all that dissimilar to the kinds of things we know as cyclones, hurricanes, or typhoons on Earth.”

The Great Red Spot is thought to be twice the size of Earth, with winds of 360 km/h (more than 230 miles per hour), but it’s no ordinary storm, according to data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

According to Tech Times, the field was strong enough to cause the spacecraft to wobble during Juno’s flyby of the spot in 2019.

The Great Red Spot, which measures 10,000 miles across, has been observed continuously for about 200 years, though it’s been around for much longer — big storms on Earth, on the other hand, only last a few days or weeks at most, according to NPR.

“We think this thing is really old,” says Scott Bolton, the Juno mission’s principal investigator.

“It’s a mystery how it lasts that long,” said NPR.

Bolton and his team were able to obtain the first 3D model of the Great Red Spot by using microwave sensors to slice into the storm’s depths.

They discovered that its wide top makes it look like a “pancake,” but the “depth of that pancake is much thicker than we would have expected,” according to Bolton.

Vortices are the name given to storms that occur on Jupiter.

The microwave findings.

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