NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected mysterious changes in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, that planet’s storm system where the outer winds have accelerated in the last decade, communicated this Monday the US space agency.
After analyzing the Jupiter data captured by Hubble, the scientists discovered that the average velocity in the outer region of the Great Red Spot, known as high speed ring, has increased by up to 8% between 2009 and 2020. While the winds of the internal zone of that storm have slowed down significantly. Those two crimson clouds rotate counterclockwise, at speeds close to 650 kilometers per hour and their vortex is bigger than earth.
The increase in wind speed in the outer region of the Great Red Spot is around 2.5 kilometers per hour each Earth year. “We are talking about such a small change” that it would not have been possible to detect it without the Hubble data, explained Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
At the moment, scientists do not know what the change in the speeds of those winds could mean. “That is difficult to diagnose, since Hubble cannot observe the bottom of the storm very well. Anything below the top of the clouds is invisible in the data, “commented Michael Wong of the University of California at Berkeley.” But it is an interesting piece of information that can help us understand what feeds the Great Red Spot and how it maintains energy, “he added.
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