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December 05, 2010

Jupiter's Little Red Spot

Scientists have been observing a massive anticyclone on Jupiter known as the Little Red Spot and from their measurements they believe that winds speeds in the Little Red Spot can reach 384 MPH. Scientists have concluded that the Little Red Spot is actually three separate storms that have combined to form one massive storm with winds rotating counter-clockwise. Although the Little Red Spot is not as big as The Big Red Spot, it is still larger than the Earth and it's getting bigger.

Check out the link if you want to see a video.

Posted by msapick at December 5, 2010 09:46 PM


I have always underestimated the size of Jupiter. The fact that it has two storms on it's surface, both bigger than Earth, is remarkable. Hurrican Katrina caused extreme devistation and that hurricane was a fraction of a fraction the size of thie Little Red Spot. All I can say is I am thankful that I do not live on Jupiter.

Posted by: platkojo at December 6, 2010 01:30 PM

From what I have heard about the little red spot, the storm has formed from 3 other parent storms. These smaller parent storms have joined together forming the little red spot we see today. The storm at first appeared white, but recently has begun turning into a shade of red, similar to the color of the giant red spot. I agree with platkojo. Thank god we don't live on Jupiter.

Posted by: nvohra at December 6, 2010 06:39 PM

The little red spot, which is not as litle as the title gives it, is a new storm on Jupiter. The fact that it is bigger than Earth gives me a visual on how large the storm is, how powerful it is with its 385 MPH winds, and how giant Jupiter is compared to Earth. Things like these show how Jupiter is still active. I find it interesting that the little red spot started off white and has turned red. Maybe after studying the formation of this spot we will be able to have a better understanding on the giant red spot. Furthermore, I look forward to seeing how big this little red spot becomes and if it combines with the giant spot or becomes bigger then the giant red spot.

Posted by: ajrod at December 6, 2010 11:47 PM

As stated before, it's hard to believe that there's a "little" spot on Jupiter that is bigger than our Earth. Both spots are nothing more than giant storms powered by warm air rising in their centers. How can a storm possibly be bigger than Earth? This really shows how big of a galaxy we are a part of. I like how platkojo mentioned how devastating Hurricane Katrina was, and how there's a storm on Jupiter that is bigger than our entire globe and is still considered "little". I recently read another article that went even further and stated that the highest wind speeds in the Little Red Spot have increased and are now equal to those of the Big Red Spot. How does this change anything? Do we now have two "Big Red Spots"?

Posted by: rahoro at December 7, 2010 01:57 PM

What surprises me even more than the size of the storm is the speed of it. 384 MPH winds sweeping across the surface is unfathomable. A storm bigger than the Earth and moving significantly faster than the fastest cars can travel would be incredible to see. And to think that this is only the "Little Red Spot" is remarkable.

Posted by: nealroth at December 9, 2010 02:15 AM

I'm curious to know if it's possible for Jupiter's Little Red Spot to combine with other storms that are currently roaming Jupiter. We can assume this can happen because of how the Little Red Spot formed in the first place. In addition to growing in size by itself, I think it's possible for it to merge other storms on Jupiter over time and eventually become as big or bigger than the Great Red Spot.

Posted by: kalajk at December 9, 2010 03:08 PM

The little red spot could help to explain how the big red spot was created. It took three storms to create one the size of the little red spot, so I think it is likely that the big red spot formed in a similar fashion. I also find it interesting that the little red spot started out white and then turned red once it had increases wind speeds, which may also be the same process that the big red spot followed.

Posted by: defried at December 10, 2010 08:31 PM

How exactly was Jupiter able to combine smaller storms to create such a massive wind mass? The size and speed of something like this is unfathomable. This is more evidence that proves that Jupiter is very unlikely to harbor life.

Posted by: devdrake at December 13, 2010 09:02 AM

I think the question is not only how the 'big red spot' was created, but how it has managed to stay around for so long...

Storms should end... shouldn't they? I just read that the Big Red Spot has been viewed by Earth's telescopes for the past 400 years... why hasn't it stopped spinning?

Posted by: dkaknjo at December 15, 2010 02:01 PM

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