Photo credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and the OPAL team
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured stunning new images of Jupiter on Aug. 25, 2020, when the planet was 406 million miles from Earth. In these images, you can see a bright, white, stretched-out storm traveling around the planet at 350 mph, while the Great Red Spot is rolling counterclockwise in the planet’s southern hemisphere. The image on the right was captured in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light at the same time, giving researchers a new perspective of the giant planet. Read more for a video and additional information.
You may also notice that the Red Spot Jr. has been fading in color to its original shade of white after appearing red in 2006. With that said, the core of this storm now appears to be darkening slightly, which means that the spot could be on its way to turning to a color more similar to its cousin once again. It also shows that Jupiter is clearing out its higher altitude white clouds, especially along the planet’s equator, where an orange-like hydrocarbon smog wraps around it.
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Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 9,800 miles across, big enough to swallow Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but the reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery,” according to NASA.