Jupiter's Great Red Spot Might Disappear In Next 20 Years

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Jupiter might lose its most remarkable feature - the great red spot. The spot is actually a humungous storm which is twice the size of our Earth. It was first spotted observed 300 years ago and might present long before that.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Might Disappear In Next 20 Years

 

Years Of Storm

The Great Red Spot is a huge storm that has been going on for several hundred years. It was first spotted by Giovanni Cassini, an Italian astronomer, during the 1600s. When it was first observed, the shape of the storm was oval and it was bigger as well.

The spot's diameter is around 40,000 km and could be easily spotted from a telescope. Even though the spot is big, it's slowly shrinking in size.

How Long Will It Last

Persisting for centuries, the spot might completely disappear forever in the next 20 years, scientists say. It's unclear what's the reason behind the huge storm, but according to NASA scientist Glenn Orton, it could be due to a collision between the spot and a vortex to the south.

Orton said, "Some observers implied that these [blades] were induced by the arrival of vortices in a jet just south of the GRS moving from east to west that enters a dark area surrounding it that is characterized by deeper clouds, known as the 'Red Spot Hollow'.

Orton told Business Insider that the storm has shrunk by as much as 17 degrees since the 1800s when the Great Red Spot when it would have been 35,000 miles in diameter, which is four times the Earth's diameter.

Orton said, "While the spot's unique location has kept the storm raging for what researchers believe could be centuries, even the mightiest of storms in our solar system are bound to run out of gas eventually."

Life Near The Gas Giant

 

It has already been figured out that Jupiter's environment is too harsh to sustain life, however, its biggest moon Europa is considered as one of the potential places where life could exist in the future. NASA's Hubble Telescope found more evidence of water on the surface of Europa.

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