The great red spot

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what caused that huge red spot on jupiter ?
 

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  • #2
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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
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Well, how do storms form on the earth?
 
  • #4
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Bladibla said:
Well, how do storms form on the earth?

you maybe right, or something big fell out of jupiter ?
 
  • #5
Garth
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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
Phobos
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http://www.seds.org/billa/tnp/jupiter.html [Broken]

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
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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:
 
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Phobos
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  • #9
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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:
 

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