A brilliant new capture of Jupiter, which was taken by Hubble Space Telescope, has the potential to provide new information on the atmospheric dynamics of the gas giant. The primary and most pressing mystery about Jupiter is regarding the planet’s well-known Great Red Spot. This spot has been reducing in size since about the 1800s.
This enigma has prevailed over centuries and is extremely complex, according to officials at Baltimore’s Space Institute of Telescope Science Institute. This very institute runs the science mission of Hubble. They aim at understanding the forces that drive the atmosphere of Jupiter, which is comparable to an attempt at predicting the pattern of cream when poured in a cup of hot coffee.
However, the uncertainty has not stopped the scientists from trying. The Hubble, while orbiting the Earth, turns its radars towards all planets in outer solar systems at least one time each year for checking on each planet’s weather. Luckily, the Juno spacecraft of NASA is the sole interplanetary visitor to Jupiter, which scans the clouds of the planet for gathering more information. Around a year back, the observations recorded by Hubble showed the spot getting taller, while its color turned to orange. Further, the diameter of the spot has been found to be shrinking. Past work shows that at one point of time, this Great Red Spot had been big enough to be compared to the three Earths’ width. However, in April 2017, it was marginally wider compared to just one Earth, burning at its diameter measuring 10,159 miles or roughly 16,350 kilometers, as per figures from NASA.
A new clue to this mystery of the shrinking spot can be the intensity of color of clouds that was spotted by in the freshly captured image, received on June 27. The brand-new view unveiled a color palette way more intense than observed in the past, said the STScI officials. They also added that alterations in colors show atmospheric process variations.