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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted By Editor On May 1, 2011 @ 10:47 pm In Photo Essays | Comments Disabled

It is a hurricane twice the size of the Earth. It has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it, and shows no signs of slowing. It is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the largest swirling storm system in the Solar System.

redspot voyager1 3072 670x535 Astronomy Picture of the Day [1]

 

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Voyager 1
Credit: NASA [2]JPL [3]Digital processing: Björn Jónsson [4] (IAAA [5])

Explanation: It is a hurricane twice the size of the Earth. It has been raging [6] at least as long as telescopes could see it, and shows no signs of slowing. It is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot [7], the largest swirling storm system in the Solar System. Like most astronomical phenomena, the Great Red Spot [8] was neither predicted nor immediately understood after its discovery. Still today, details of how and why the Great Red Spot [9] changes its shape, size, and color remain mysterious [10]. A better understanding of the weather on Jupiter may help contribute to the better understanding of weather here on Earth. The above image [11] is a recently completed digital enhancement of an image of Jupiter taken in 1979 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft [12] as it zoomed by the Solar System’s largest planet. At about 117 AU [13] from Earth, Voyager 1 [14] is currently the most distant human made object in the universe and expected [15] to leave the entire solar heliosheath [16] any time now.

 

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day [17]


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/redspot_voyager1_3072.jpg

[2] NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/

[3] JPL: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

[4] Björn Jónsson: http://www.mmedia.is/bjj/feedback.html

[5] IAAA: http://iaaa.org/

[6] raging: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATg-OXrdfQw

[7] Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990718.html

[8] Great Red Spot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Red_Spot#Great_Red_Spot

[9] Great Red Spot: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060505.html

[10] remain mysterious: http://forums.urbanpug.com/extensions/InlineImages/image.php?AttachmentID=75

[11] above image: http://www.mmedia.is/bjj/images/index.html

[12] Voyager 1 spacecraft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1

[13] AU: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/glossary/au.html

[14] Voyager 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFT68U4i-Xw

[15] expected: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/28apr_voyager/

[16] solar heliosheath: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031120.html

[17] Astronomy Pictures of the Day: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

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