"Maybe sometime after that the GRM," by which he means the "Great Red Memory.". However, anticyclones repel cyclones. The question then becomes: Does a decrease in the area of the cloud mean that the vortex itself is shrinking? Hypotheses supported by laboratory experiments suppose that the color may be caused by chemical products created from the solar ultraviolet irradiation of ammonium hydrosulfide and the organic compound acetylene, which produces a reddish material—likely complex organic compounds called tholins. New NASA imagery revealed that the Spot shrunk by 150 miles in the last year. The Disappearing Great Red Spot. As of April 3, 2017, the GRS spanned the width of 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers), less than 1.3 times Earth's diameter.The longest storm on Earth lasted 31 days, but Jupiter can sustain longer storms because the gas planet has tens of thousands of miles of atmosphere, and spins much faster than Earth. In a report from Space.com, astronomers from around the world say they’ve documented an uptick in what they describe as ‘blades’ … The Great Red Spot  could disappear in the next 2 decades Jupiter's Great Red Spot is an anticyclone that swirls around a center of high atmospheric pressure. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. By analyzing the cloud images with computer models that incorporate the physics of how fluids move, my research group at Berkeley was able to determine the area of the spot. Even though the Great Red Spot is large now, it is slowly shrinking in size. Jupiter's south equatorial belt, now missing, crosses the Great Red Spot in a picture taken in 2000 by NASA's Cassini orbiter. Recent images showed more cloud shrinkage, leading to headlines that the spot could die within 20 years. Did David Bowie Say He Supports Fascism and Call Hitler a ‘Rock Star’? We discovered that the area of the spot cloud is larger than its underlying vortex, the swirling gas that defines it. Does Video Show Capitol Police Opening Gates for Rioters? Space Chat with Space.com: Tune in Fridays for science, space and more! An enhanced image of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, as seen by NASA's Voyager 2 probe on July 7, 1979. Indeed, Jupiter's atmosphere is a mysterious place which would benefit from exploration. Watch: Strong Winds Send Canopy Flying 00:34. The spot is over 40,000 km in diameter, and could be seen easily with a telescope from your backyard. [Jupiter's Great Red Spot in Photos]. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could disappear within our lifetimes . Did Olive Garden Revoke Hannity’s Pasta Pass After Capitol Riot? When the nuclear-powered spacecraft Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter in 1979, however, the storm had shrunk to a bit more twice the width of our own planet. Will the WhatsApp Message ‘Argentina Is Doing It’ Hack My Phone? In the last 10 years, but in the last five months in particular, the press has reported dire warnings that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is dying. Jupiter’s great red spot, an immense storm on the fifth planet, more significant than the dimension of the Earth, has been raging since approximately 1830. There was a problem. (Image credit: NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran/. But now scientists predict it could disappear forever in as little as 20 years. The Great Red Spot (GRS) is an anti-cyclonic(rotates counter-clockwise) storm that is located 22° south of Jupiter’s equator. The Great Red Spot, located in the southern hemisphere, holds title as Jupiter’s largest anticyclone; spanning 12,500 miles wide, it is large enough to swallow Earth two to three times over. Neither does theory explain why the twin equatorial belts are brown, nor why one should vanish while the other remains. (Image: © NASA/JPL/Björn Jónsson/Seán Doran/. This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors. Jupiter and the cyclonic feature known as the Great Red Spot, lower right, in 2019. The Great Red Spot is a huge storm in Jupiter's atmosphere and was first spotted 300 years ago.. However, neither event is a sign of ill health for the Great Red Spot. Robert Hooke, an early British physicist who discovered cells, first described the Great Red Spot in 1665. July 26, 2019 By Joe Bergeron Filed Under: Solar System. In the last 10 years, but in the last five months in particular, the press has reported dire warnings that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is dying. One of the solar system’s most iconic landmarks is about to vanish. In spring 2019, astronomers reported that it was “unraveling,” and shedding large “blades” and “flakes” of red clouds. © An illustration comparing the size of Jupiter's Great Red Spot to that of Earth. This suggests Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) has been raging for centuries. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com. It is difficult to determine the relationship between the cloud’s size and the vortex’s size or even how Jovian clouds form and dissipate. Some, like this spot, are anticyclones that rotate in the opposite direction of the planet’s spin; others are cyclones that rotate in the same direction as the planet’s spin. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Concerns for the Great Red Spot’s “health” arose when astronomers realized that the cloud’s area in 1979 was only half of its size in the 1800s, as determined from old photographic plates. Amy discusses new research that might hold the key. Measuring in at 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers) in width (as of April 3, 2017) Jupiter’s Great Red … Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Isn’t Disappearing. Original article on Space.com. Unidentified Object Falls From Sky in India 00:36. Did the Moon Briefly ‘Disappear’ 1,000 Years Ago? Some reports from May, however, started detailing that it was beginning to diminish. Pictures from space! The Great Red Spot has been a fixture of Jupiter’s cloudy visage for centuries and is among the most recognizable features in the solar system. Anticyclones appear as bright clouds and so are easily detectable, but cyclones (except at the poles) often have filamentary clouds or no clouds at all. In the late 1800s, the storm was perhaps as wide as 30 degrees longitude, Orton said. Thank you for signing up to Space. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a gigantic storm more than twice the size of the Earth, has persisted for centuries. However, by assuming that these observable vortices interact with cloud-free (and unobservable) cyclones, we can explain the abrupt changes. Jupiter 's iconic Great Red Spot is disappearing. My colleagues and I believe it will survive for many more years. The iconic Great Red Spot of Jupiter may disappear in the next 20 years, according to a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. No one knows, for instance, why the Great Red Spot is red—or what has sustained the raging storm for so many years. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is dying. Changes in their speeds were often abrupt and seemed to occur for no reason. February … But it won’t always be there. Viral Post ‘How To Fight Covid at Home’ Provides Problematic Advice. Data on Jupiter's crimson-colored spot reveals that this shrinking is still occurring. Jupiter’s atmosphere contains vortices besides the Great Red Spot, some of which are useful for monitoring its health. Did ‘The Simpsons’ Predict Pro-Trump Horned Rioter Jake Angeli? No, A Nurse in Alabama Did Not Die from COVID-19 Vaccine. Read the original article. Therefore, to understand the health of the spot, planetary scientists need to study the health of its vortex and not its cloud; the cloud’s shrinkage is not a harbinger of death. A famed medieval transcript described the Earth’s lunar companion as “wholly gone.”. Any cloud or undigested lump on the spot that encounters a stagnation point will similarly shatter and flake away in opposite directions. It’s so big that it could easily engulf our entire planet. Why does Jupiter's great red spot exist? That works out to more than 35,000 miles — four times the diameter of Earth. This article by Philip Marcus is republished here with permission from The Conversation. NASA revealed today that the iconic Great Red Spot on Jupiter has shrunk to its smallest size ever – and astronomers have no idea why. However, some astronomers believe, to … I believe that the Great Red Spot is in no danger of disappearing. The Great Red Spot of Jupiter as … NY 10036. Persisted for centuries, the spot could disappear forever in as little as 20 years, predicted scientists. But it won't always be there. Were Pro-Trump Mobs Storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 Actually Antifa? I believe that the shedding of clouds from the spot as “flakes” and “blades” observed in 2019 was due to two simultaneous events: undigested lumps of merged anticyclones traveling along the spot’s boundary and a close encounter with one or more “unobservable” cyclones. In the earliest image, the flaking is predominant on the east side of the giant red vortex. A known white nationalist recorded the clip that went viral amid the chaos of the... Did Trump Tell Supporters to Storm US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? In 1979, when two Voyager spacecraft flew close by Jupiter, images showed that the spot was a red cloud that rotated as part of a huge vortex several times larger than the Earth. Jupiter's Great Red Spot Could Disappear Soon 00:37. Scientists predict Jupiter's Great Red Spot (sometimes called the 'Red Eye') is unraveling and could disappear forever in as little as 20 years. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Not in Danger of Disappearing, NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Christopher Go, first described the Great Red Spot in 1665, career was evolving from astrophysics to fluid dynamics, Great Red Spot is in no danger of disappearing. According to Orton, the storm's vortex has maintained strength because of Jupiter's 300-400 mph (483-640 km/h) jetstreams, but like any storm, it won't go on forever. Over the past week, amateur astronomers around the world have seen some unusual activity around the solar system's largest and longest-lasting storm. Did Democratic Congressman Add ‘A-Woman’ to Opening Prayer? By Mike Wehner @MikeWehner. The Great Red Spot is one of the most recognizable features in Jupiter’s atmosphere and the entire Solar System. NASA planetary scientist Glenn Orton said the Great Red Spot has been dying since the 1800s. Pieces of the red cloud scatter outward from the stagnation point, appearing as flakes and blades. Our image of the day, Future astronauts could use methane to make rocket fuel on Mars, The Stingray nebula is fading fast, Hubble telescope photos reveal, How satellites are stopping deforestation in Africa. Please refresh the page and try again. In the last 10 years, but in the last five months in particular, the press has reported dire warnings that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is dying. Such mergers are common; Voyager 1 first observed these and they have subsequently been observed every few months. The numerical calculations of my Berkeley research group show that the recent observations of cloud shedding can be explained by the collision of undigested red clouds at the edge of the Great Red Spot with stagnation points produced during a close encounter with a cyclone. Here's what the president said hours before right-wing extremists breached the Capitol. In 1979, when two Voyager spacecraft flew close by Jupiter, images showed that the spot was a red cloud that rotated as part of a huge vortex several times larger than the Earth. Just because a photo is real doesn't mean its caption is. According to observations taken in the 1800s, the Great Red Spot was once about four times the diameter of Earth. For more than a century astronomers documented the motions of cloud-covered anticyclones as they slowly drifted across Jupiter. Typically, small anticyclones are not “digested” immediately, but produce lumps on the spot’s boundary that orbit around it, slowly migrating into the center. Neither the mergers that created the lumps nor the close encounters with cyclones are unusual by themselves, but it is not that common for them to occur at the same time. The Great Red Spot has been a fixture of Jupiter 's cloudy visage for centuries and is among the most recognizable features in the solar system. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! It has been around for at least hundreds of years, but is it now nearing its end? The beautiful structure of this extraordinary atmospheric intrigued me since my career was evolving from astrophysics to fluid dynamics – the study of how liquids and gases move. New York, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is iconic, the largest and longest-lasting storm ever seen in the solar system. Scientists had even make some assumptions that it might disappear entirely over two decades. A (false color) series of images capturing the repeated flaking of red clouds from the GRS in the Spring of 2019. When a large anticyclone and smaller cyclone approach each other before repelling, they create a “stagnation” point near the boundary of the anticyclone where the local winds abruptly change direction, going off approximately perpendicular to their original directions. Snopes and the Snopes.com logo are registered service marks of Snopes.com. The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a giant anticyclonic storm rotating counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere of the planet (22 degrees south of Jupiter’s equator). Does Photo Show 2 Women Saving Electoral Votes During Capitol Siege? Visit our corporate site. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Based on the spot’s interactions with other vortices my Berkeley group found there is no evidence that that vortex itself has changed its size or intensity. You will receive a verification email shortly. How do we know that Jovian cyclones exist when clouds are not visible? It rotates counterclockwise, the opposite direction of hurricanes on Earth. Follow Doris Elin Salazar on Twitter @salazar_elin. Image credit: Anthony Wesley. In the last 10 years, but in the last five months in particular, the press has reported dire warnings that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is dying. The massive storm — larger than Earth itself — was first spotted in 1830, and observations from the 1600s also revealed a giant spot on Jupiter's surface that may have been the same storm system. This material may not be reproduced without permission. Jupiter's emblematic feature might disappear in a decade or two. The Red Spot is one of the most iconic images in astronomy. The scientist even warned “nothing lasts forever”as the … In spring 2019, when the “flaking” was observed, the Great Red Spot was also observed to merge with a series of small clouds (likely small anticyclones) on its northwest side. Anticyclones merge with each other. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot might disappear in the next 20 years If you’ve seen any picture of Jupiter you’ve no doubt noticed the massive red oval-shaped spot on its surface. In a recent story, Business Insider spoke with Glenn Orton, a lead Juno mission team member and planetary scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), about the giant storm's fate. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: A Swirling Mystery The iconic Great Red Spot of Jupiter may disappear in the next 20 years, according to a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. What better way to begin exploring the fundamental physics and math of fluid dynamics than to study the Great Red Spot? Over the past couple decades, Jupiter's Great Red Spot has gotten visibly smaller. Was a Noose Hung Across from the US Capitol? "In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time," Orton told Business Insider. However, some astronomers believe, to … Think of two fire hoses aimed at each other so that their streams of water collide – the streams momentarily halt at the point of impact (the stagnation point) and then scatter outward. The Great Red Spot has been there for a while, but scientists still struggle identify what causes its swirl of reddish hues. Did US Capitol Police Officer Take a Selfie With Rioter? Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! New dissipative activity is shrinking and may be destabilizing this famous feature in Jupiter’s atmosphere. "The GRS will in a decade or two become the GRC (Great Red Circle)," Orton said. Philip Marcus, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley. May 15, 2014: Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot -- a swirling anti-cyclonic storm larger than Earth -- has shrunk to its smallest size ever measured. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. How did it form? The flake then breaks off from the GRS, but a new flake starts to detach in the fifth image. The high altitude of the compounds may also contribute to the coloring of the Great Red Spot. I have been intrigued by the Great Red Spot since 1979, when I viewed the Voyager images only days after NASA processed them. One of Jupiter's most recognisable features, the Great Red Spot, is getting smaller. Next Up. It is not known what causes the Great Red Spot's reddish color. Image source: NASA/JPL. Anticyclones on this gas giant act similar to cyclones that we experience on Earth, but they have twice the wind speed. While the reddish-hued storm is massive, it was once much larger. However, some astronomers believe, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that the reports of its death are greatly exaggerated, or at least premature. Then breaks off from the US Capitol Police Officer Take a Selfie with?... 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