Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Shrinking


Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot was once the width of three Earths, but new measurements indicate that it has shrunken to the width of just one. The swirling monster storm, also known as Jupiter’s eye, has been decreasing since the 1930s. In 1979, NASA measured the Great Red Spot as 14,500 miles across. The latest measurements by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope indicate its width is just 10,250 miles. In 2012, astronomers began to notice the shrinking was accelerating. NASA’s Amy Simon suggested small eddies, fluid currents whose direction differs from the general flow, may be causing the speed-up in shrinkage. “We hypothesized these may be responsible for the accelerated change by altering the internal dynamics and energy of the Great Red Spot,” she said.