Great Red Spot winds speeding up
Since people invented the telescope in the 1600s, eyes have been focused on Jupiter. The earliest sighting of the Great Red Spot, a humongous storm on Jupiter, might have been in 1665. Skywatchers observed the giant swirling storm sporadically between 1831 and 1879. Then regular observations began, and astronomers did their best to monitor it from Earth. Their observations ramped up dramatically in 2009, when the Hubble Space Telescope turned its razor-sharp eye on the Great Red Spot. On September 27, 2021, scientists announced they’ve learned that – from 2009 to 2020 – the winds in the outermost ring of the Great Red Spot are speeding up. They said these studies will let us learn more about Earth’s atmosphere.
The data from the Hubble Space Telescope show that the counterclockwise wind speeds in the outermost region of the Great Red Spot have increased by 8% between 2009 and 2020. Scientists call this zone of the Great Red Spot the high-speed ring, with good reason. Winds now top 400 miles per hour (almost 650 kph) in this zone. Meanwhile, the speed of the winds toward the center of the storm is decreasing.
Michael Wong of ...