Wonders still exist…

Imagine a storm of such size and scope to make the hurricanes of Earth seem tame. For centuries, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter has intrigued astronomers. The storm measures roughly 10,000 miles in width, and has raged for hundreds of years.

On July 10, NASA’s Juno spacecraft moved into position just a few thousand miles above the swirling clouds of the Great Red Spot, capturing stunning images of the counterclockwise circulation. Wind speeds within the storm can reach 400 mph, roughly double the highest hurricane winds here on Earth.

The red appearance of the Great Red Spot has long been a subject of debate. Clouds in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter contain ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water. But it is unclear if these compounds exist in sufficient quantity (or distribution) to produce such vibrant shades of red.

Such mysteries are being analyzed through the current Juno mission. The spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, and continues to provide a rich source of information for professional and amateur astronomers alike.

 Chief Meteorologist Jerry Jackson

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s