All about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

eAwaz Lifestyle

Washington – A series of smaller storms may actually be helping maintain Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere with crimson-coloured clouds that spin counter-clockwise at wind speeds that exceed those in any storm on Earth. The spot is about twice the diameter of Earth and blows at speeds of up to 540 kilometres per hour along its periphery. Study lead author Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, Professor at the Basque Country University in Bilbao, Spain, said: “The intense vorticity (Great Red Spot), together with its larger size and depth compared to the interacting vortices, guarantees its long lifetime.”
The smaller storms create some chaos in an already dynamic situation, temporarily changing the Red Spot’s 90-day oscillation in longitude, and “tearing the red clouds from the main oval and forming streamers,” Sanchez-Lavega said, adding: “The ingestion of (anticyclones) is not necessarily destructive; it can increase the GRS (Great Red Spot of Jupiter) rotation speed, and perhaps over a longer period, maintain it in a steady state.” Cyclones like hurricanes or typhoons usually spin around a centre with low atmospheric pressure, rotating counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern, whether on Jupiter or Earth. Anticyclones spin the opposite way as cyclones, around a centre with high atmospheric pressure. Before 2019, the larger storm was only hit by a couple of anticyclones a year while more recently it was hit by as many as two dozen a year.