The Hubble Space Telescope, together with its counterpart, the James Webb Space Telescope, has once again provided essential information. Hubble has now surveyed Jupiter and examined the ever-changing atmosphere of our Solar System’s gaseous world. The flying observatory predicted violent weather in Jupiter’s low northern latitudes and spotted a string of alternating storms forming a vortex street on the planet. The Great Red Spot has also been found to be diminishing.
The vortex on Jupiter is a wave pattern made up of nested cyclones and anticyclones that are bound together like the alternate gears of a machine that rotates clockwise and counterclockwise. According to Nasa, if the storms approach close enough to each other and unite, they might form a storm that rivals the current magnitude of the Great Red Spot.
Meanwhile, the Great Red Spot, the solar system’s most violent storm, has decreased to its smallest size ever recorded in observation records spanning back 150 years. The Big Red Spot is the storm king of our solar system. A Juno spacecraft flyby assisted scientists in determining that the storm’s roots reach at least 320 kilometers into Jupiter’s atmosphere. A typical tropical cyclone on Earth is just approximately 15 kilometers long. Through studies spanning more than a century, astronomers saw that it was reducing in size and becoming more round than oval.
Hubble photos also showed the icy moon Ganymede transiting the massive planet. Io was also photographed photobombing Jupiter’s multicolored cloud tops, throwing a shadow on the planet’s western limb. Jupiter’s weather is driven from the inside out, according to the European Space Agency (ESA), since more heat percolates up from its interior than it receives from the Sun. This heat indirectly triggers color-change cycles in the clouds, such as the one currently showcasing an alternating system of cyclones and anticyclones.