When people think of Jupiter, they most likely remember the “red spot” that all people associate with this planet.
If you want a little more background on this red spot then you will want to take a look at this article.
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter:
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is an anticyclonic storm. It is 22 degrees south of Jupiter’s equator. So far this storm has through to have lasted at least 340 years. This red spot is visible through a telescope when observing from Earth.
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter was said to have first been observed by Giovanni Domenico Cassini. He first noticed it in approximately the year 1665. The first photographs of the Great Red Spot were first taken on February 25, 1979, when Voyager 1 was sent to space to observe the planet of Jupiter.
The photographs that were taken in the late 70s have revealed details of clouds, which were as small in size as 160 km (100 miles) across. Complex variations of wave motions can also be seen in some of these photos as well.
There is a white oval storm beneath the Great Red Spot, which is the size of earth, and that is considerably smaller than the Red Spot. This gives people an idea of the magnificence in size of this particular storm, as well as that of the planet of Jupiter. The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is large enough to contain two or three planets of Earth inside.
The cloud tops of the Red Spot are about eight kilometers above the surrounding cloud tops. Lesser white oval storms other than the one directly beneath the Red Spot are also present on Jupiter. Some brown spots (ovals) also are storms as well, which are minute in contrast to the large red storm of Jupiter.
The white-ovaled clouds are usually made up of cool clouds within the upper atmosphere. The brown ovals are warmer and located within what is commonly called the normal cloud layer.
All storms on Jupiter, including both the little ones and the big ones that make up the Red Spot can least a length of time of as little as a few hours and as great of a time as a few centuries. Before the Voyager missions have helped advance the study of both the great and small storms on Jupiter, these formations were thought to be solid or liquid.
The anticyclonic nature of the Great Red Spot can be simply explained, so people understand the activity of it. Anticyclonic, if you have not already figured it out means the opposite of a cyclone (tornado-like storm).
During the occurrence of an anticyclonic storm, there is descending movement of air. At the same time there is a relative increase of barometric pressure. At the surface of this storm air blows out in all directions from the center of the storm, which is the part of the storm containing the highest pressure. This storm is then affected by the earth’s rotation, which causes a spiral-shaped storm to form.
The dimensions of the Great Red Spot are 24-40,000 km x 12-14,000 km. These storms are very common within what are often referred to as turbulent atmospheres, which occur with gas giants, which are planets, which primarily consist of gases. Jupiter is one of four such planets, and the other three with similar properties as Jupiter include Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Other fascinating information can be found about all the planets of the solar system. Quite a bit of this information includes more educational materials regarding Jupiter and other planets. Some of this knowledge is found in other articles such as this one.