- The red clouds of the huge storm are spinning counterclockwise which now exceeds 400 miles per hour.
- The storm has been raging since at least the 1830s and probably the mid-1600s.
- Storm winds were observed using the Hubble Space Telescope.
The biggest storm in our solar system is going wild. In a new study released on Thursday, astronomers said air was getting faster in larger red spots.
While not a dramatic increase, “we’ve seen a slight increase in wind average over the last few decades with huge red spots,” said Michael Wang, lead author of the study at the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement.
In particular, researchers have determined that winds increased by 8 percent from 2009 to 2020.
“When I first saw the results, I asked ‘Does it make sense?’ No one has seen it before, ”Wang said.
Storm winds were observed using the Hubble Space Telescope. Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who contributed to the study, explained, “Since we don’t have a storm chaser plane on Jupiter, we can’t measure wind continuity at the site.” “The Hubble is the only telescope with temporal coverage and spatial resolution that can contain Jupiter’s wind in this detail.”
According to NASA, the red clouds of the giant storm are spinning counterclockwise, now exceeding 400 miles per hour – and the vortex is larger than Earth. The red spot is partly legendary because people have observed it for at least 150 years.
In fact, the storm dates back to at least the 1830s and probably the mid-1600s, when the red spot was first seen from Earth.
So what does increasing wind speed mean? “It’s hard to diagnose, since Hubble can’t see the bottom of the storm very well,” Wang said. “Anything below Cloud Tops is invisible in the data. But it’s an interesting piece of information that can help us understand what is fueling the red spot and how it’s maintaining power.”
There is still a lot of work to be done to fully understand this, NASA said.
The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.