Red Spot

19 Mar 2010

The Daily Galaxy, March 17th ) www.dailygalaxy.com - 'Unlocking the Secrets of Jupiter's Giant Red Spot' claims the red spot is a region of storminess, the reddest bits a warm core within an otherwise cold storm system. The findings come from an article in Icarus but see also www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-086&cid=release_2010-086.htm where thermal images show the red spot in greater clarity than ever before. Jupiter's atmosphere has a zig zag pattern of 12 jet streams. The great red spot is sandwiched between 2 of these jet streams, forcing the winds that power the streams to deflect around the spot. It is thought the red spot might be somewhat tranquil in comparison as the jet streams are formed of winds at speeds over 200mph. There are actually now 3 red spots active on Jupiter - one of them was first observed in May by the Hubble space camera.