The Great Red Spot: What Caused Jupiter's Huge Red Spot?

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In summary, the cause of the giant red spot on Jupiter is still unknown, but one theory suggests it may have been caused by a large impact. The spot is a persistent high-pressure region, fueled by the corriolis force of Jupiter's rotation and its internal heat. This phenomenon is not unique to Jupiter, as similar structures have been seen on Saturn and Neptune. Despite the ongoing gravitational collapse of Jupiter, it is not expected to implode on itself due to its limited mass.
  • #1
stoned
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what caused that huge red spot on Jupiter ?
 
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  • #2
In all honesty, no one knows because as long as people have had telescopes powerful enough to resolve it it's been there. One of the more prevalent theories is perhaps it was caused by a large impact of some sort.
 
  • #3
Well, how do storms form on the earth?
 
  • #4
Bladibla said:
Well, how do storms form on the earth?


you maybe right, or something big fell out of Jupiter ?
 
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It seems to be a persistent 'hurricane' of some sort. The energy for which may come from two sources. One is the corriolis force of Jupiter's rotation. Because Jupiter is very large (11X diameter of Earth) and rotating rapidly this force is much larger than on Earth, the second is the internal heat of Jupiter itself. One of the interesting things about Jupiter is that it radiates more energy than it receives. This may be due to the fact that the gas giant is still gravitationally collapsing, and maybe it has substantial internal radioactive heat sources.

Garth
 
  • #6
http://www.seds.org/billa/tnp/jupiter.html

The Great Red Spot (GRS) has been seen by Earthly observers for more than 300 years... The GRS is an oval about 12,000 by 25,000 km, big enough to hold two Earths. Other smaller but similar spots have been known for decades. Infrared observations and the direction of its rotation indicate that the GRS is a high-pressure region whose cloud tops are significantly higher and colder than the surrounding regions. Similar structures have been seen on Saturn and Neptune. It is not known how such structures can persist for so long.
 
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  • #7
Garth said:
It seems to be a persistent 'hurricane' of some sort. The energy for which may come from two sources. One is the corriolis force of Jupiter's rotation. Because Jupiter is very large (11X diameter of Earth) and rotating rapidly this force is much larger than on Earth, the second is the internal heat of Jupiter itself. One of the interesting things about Jupiter is that it radiates more energy than it receives. This may be due to the fact that the gas giant is still gravitationally collapsing, and maybe it has substantial internal radioactive heat sources.

Garth

Wait if the gas the planet is made of is still collapsing, wouldn't that mean it will eventually implode on itself? That would be bad. :bugeye:
 
  • #8
  • #9
misskitty said:
Wait if the gas the planet is made of is still collapsing, wouldn't that mean it will eventually implode on itself?

No, there's a limit to how much it can compress (e.g., it doesn't have enough mass to overcome the repulsive force between atoms and become a black hole). Also note that Jupiter started forming over 4 billion years ago and has been "collapsing" ever since. Nothing to worry about. :smile:
 

Related to The Great Red Spot: What Caused Jupiter's Huge Red Spot?

1. What is the Great Red Spot on Jupiter?

The Great Red Spot is a gigantic, high-pressure storm on the surface of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

2. How big is the Great Red Spot?

The Great Red Spot is about 1.3 times the diameter of Earth, making it roughly 13,000 kilometers wide.

3. How long has the Great Red Spot existed?

The Great Red Spot has been observed for over 300 years, with the first recorded sighting in 1665 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini.

4. What causes the Great Red Spot?

The exact cause of the Great Red Spot is still unknown, but it is believed to be a massive anticyclonic storm, fueled by the planet's strong winds and atmospheric conditions.

5. Is the Great Red Spot shrinking?

Yes, the Great Red Spot has been shrinking for at least the past century, with recent observations showing a decrease in size by about 240 kilometers per year.

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