Scientists discover Great Cold Spot on Jupiter

Apr 17, 2017 16:07 IST

Scientists have discovered a second great spot on Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. The first such discovery was of the Great Red Spot on the planet in 1830.


 Great Cold Spot

The findings of the study were published in the Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Key Highlights

• The great spot is reported to have a width of 12000 km and a height of 24000 km.

• It is located in the upper atmosphere of the planet and is much cooler than the hot surroundings and hence, has been christened as the Great Cold Spot.

• Unlike the earlier discovered Great Red Spot, this spot is continuously changing its shape and size.

• It is formed by the energy from Jupiter's polar auroras.

• The spot could possibly be thousands of years old.

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According to Tom Stallard, lead author of the study, the Great Cold Spot is much more volatile than the slowly changing Great Red Spot but it has reappeared for as long as they have data to search for it, for over 15 years.

Stallard further added that Jupiter’s upper atmosphere may hold other features as well and scientists will be on a lookout for them while studying the Great Cold Spot in a greater detail. Scientists will be using ground telescopes and NASA’s Juno spacecraft in the orbit around Jupiter for deeper research.


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