NASA has just released a striking new photo of Jupiter that shows off the planet’s signature “Great Red Spot”!
The Great Red Spot is a giant anticyclonic (counterclockwise) storm that astronomers have continuously observed for the last 150 years. Scientists have also noticed that the storm appears to be shrinking, though the reason why is unknown! The storm is currently 1.5 times wider than Earth, but it used to be 2 times wider.
In this new image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, we can see “a more intense color palette” in the clouds swirling in Jupiter’s atmosphere than seen in previous years, NASA says.
These changes in colors can help scientists learn more about Jupiter’s atmosphere, including perhaps the reason why the Great Red Spot is shrinking.
Since its launch almost 30 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope has been instrumental in making observations into the far reaches of space! You can see some of Hubble’s greatest captures in our gallery, Universe Revealed: Views From the Hubble Space Telescope, on the fourth floor during your next visit to LSC!
You can also get more space stories like this one in our all-live show, Wonders of the Night Sky, playing every day in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere!