An international group of scientists has reported a few numbers on how deep the Great Red Spot extends, but it wouldn’t make it much easier to adopt the true strength of the phenomenon.

We previously knew that the storms of the largest planet in the solar system are almost unimaginable in the human mind, but now more information has emerged about how this happens.

A study published in the registered journal Science to me The team that has monitored the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter since 2016 found that a high-pressure anticyclone, also known as the Great Red Spot, that has been around for hundreds of years, extends 350 to 500 kilometers below the gaseous surface. By comparison, the Earth has a “large” density of air that reaches a total height of about 100 km from the surface, and here you can draw the so-called Kerman line, also known as the outer limit of space. So the famous Jupiter storm is at least three times higher/deeper than the total thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere. (True, far from the surface of our planet, 10,000 km away, there are gaseous particles that are “carried” by the Earth and can therefore be considered part of the atmosphere, but they are so scattered that they can almost be considered a vacuum. So much so that the spacecraft is not perturbed either, for example For example, the International Space Station only orbits at an altitude of about 400 km.)

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All this, of course, is nothing compared to the superficial expanse of the Great Red Spot. The shortest diameter of the anticyclone, which can be seen with an amateur telescope, is more than 10,000 km, and the longest (east-west) ranges from 24,000 to 40,000 km. Again, comparison: the diameter of the Earth is about 12,000 kilometers.

The researchers were now able to get a more accurate picture of Jupiter’s phenomenon because Junón also included a device called a microwave radiometer to collect data about what’s going on beneath the planet’s surface. It’s like creating a 3D image of storms. Thus, it turns out that the characteristic passages of the gas giant – to use a blurriness in the images – are only the tip of the iceberg, the running currents (jet streams) that form it extend much deeper than previously thought, and act differently below. Surface.

(Opening image: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in the Voyager-1 spacecraft image. Source: Wikipedia)



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