Jupiter's Great Red Spot shrinking - Tucson News Now

Jupiter's Great Red Spot shrinking

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Scientists from NASA have confirmed that Jupiter's Great Red Spot is at it's smallest size ever recorded.

It's downsizing has been followed over the past 80 years. Historical observations from as long ago as the late 1800s, estimated the Great Red Spot's diameter at around 25,500 miles.

In 2009, a Hubble Telescope photo showed the spot at 13,020 miles across.  Amy Simon, with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, says the size is now down to 10,250 miles across.  Amateur observations have also shown that the rate in which it's shrinking has increased. The Great Red Spot is shrinking about 580 miles per year; turning it into a circle rather than an oval.

Simon says her team plans to study small eddies that are feeding into the storm, to determine if they are the cause of the shrinking, or if they could help reverse the shrinking process.

Right now there is no distinct evidence on why the Giant Spot is getting smaller.

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