Science

Physicist claims Jupiter’s red spot is not disintegrating

Earlier this year, various dabbler astronomers spotted an unnatural breach on the planet Jupiter. These are the bits of the gas giant’s eminent Great Red Spot, arrived to be flacking off, raising fears that the most identifiable feature of the planet might be showing signs of dissolving. But Philip Marcus, who is a physicist at the University of California, seeks to differ. He balks that reports of the red spot’s death have been generally extensive. On a meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics in Seattle, he bestowed a malicious counter-explanation in this week for the flaking. The Great Red Spot is a massive storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere, about 22 degrees south of the equator of the planet. Because it is situated in the southern hemisphere, it revolves counter-clockwise, meaning it is more than an anti-cyclone.

The 17th-century scientist Robert Hooke is usually deposited with the first recorded observation of the red spot in 1664, although some altercate Giovanni Cassini gave a more believing portrayal in 1665. There were no reported observations after 1713, for over 100 years, until the red spot was audited again in 1830 and continued after that. Despite the gap in recorded observations, many astronomers confide that it is the same storm that is still going strong more than 350 years later. This isn’t the first time that an alarm has been moved about the probable dissolution of the red spot. Back in 2004, astronomers resolved that it was curving, compared to 100 years ago, and the spot seems to have been curving even more quickly since 2012.

In 2017, the Gemini North telescope on the cusp of Hawaii’s Maunakea captured an image of a small hoke-like cloud on the western side of the red spot. Earlier this year, the Juno spacecraft photographed huge red flakes breaking off from the Great Red spot. Then on 19th May, 21019, an Australian amateur astronomer named Anthony Wesley took an image of a streamer peeling away from the red spot. He saw the same illusion on 22nd May.

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Bruce Townsend

I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, Associate Editor, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. I’ve written, online, and in print, for Air & Space, Astronomy, Ars Technica, Discover, Drone360, Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, and Washington.

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