Jupiter's red spot, 1979.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Jupiter's red spot, 1979.

© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society


View from Voyager 1 of the Great Red Spot, an anti-cyclonic (high-pressure) storm on Jupiter that can be likened to the worst hurricanes on Earth. An ancient storm, it is so large that three Earths could fit inside it. This photograph, and others of Jupiter, allowed scientists to see different colours in clouds around the Great Red Spot which imply that the clouds swirl around the spot (going counter-clockwise) at varying altitudes. The Great Red Spot had been observed from Earth for hundreds of years, yet never before with this clarity and closeness (objects as small as six hundred kilometres can be seen).

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