Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be shrinking, but its thickness remains constant, reveals new research from a French university.
A few centuries ago, Jupiter’s famous anticyclone was about three times larger than Earth. However, its size has been decreasing in recent years, and the size of the Great Red Spot is now similar to that of our planet.
As Space.com notes, the latest news about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has led some scientists to predict the worst – the storm could be dying. However, recent studies show that the vortex that feeds the cyclone remains strong.
Now, the new study, carried out by scientists at the University of Aix-Marseille, in France, strengthens the latest research, arguing that the thickness of the Great Spot has remained constant over the past four decades, despite the great shrinkage that the anticyclone has suffered during the same period. In practice, the area of the Great Red Spot may be shrinking, but its thickness remains constant.
“For the Great Red Spot, in particular, our dimensions are very much in line with the values measured since the Voyager mission in 1979,” wrote the authors of the study published this week on Nature.
The experts also predicted that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is about 170 kilometers thick, and this figure has not changed significantly since the arrival of the Voyager missions. “Our results now await comparison with upcoming Juno observations,” the scientists concluded.