The Great Red Spot storm on Jupiter is MONSTROUSLY deep!
The iconic Great Red Spot storm on Jupiter has always gathered attention as one that could swallow the Earth entirely and leave room for more. Now, scientists have figured out how deep the storm is. And the answer is nothing short of gigantic, as the June spacecraft circling Jupiter has now measured its depths. The Great Red Spot on Jupiter goes up to 500 kms deep inside the planet, which is gigantic in terms of a planetary storm.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft passed over the Great Red Spot twice and the spacecraft could feel the effects of the storm on the planet's gravitational pull. Using the gravity signal, it was figured that storm goes down up to 500 kms inside the planet. This data combined with the previous microwave measurements gives out the fact that storm range between 300 kms to 500 kms.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is gigantic
“If you would put this storm on Earth, it would extend all the way to the space station. So it’s just a monster,” said Yohai Kaspi, a Juno co-investigator at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to The Verge.
“Some of them speculated that it was going to be very, very shallow, like we’re talking tens of kilometers. And some others, they thought, ‘Well, in theory, it could go as deep as to the core of Jupiter,’” said Marzia Parisi, a research scientist on the Juno science team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Although the Great Red spot storm is quite deep, it is not as deep as its surrounding jet streams. Scientists say that the June spacecraft itself measured the depth of the surrounding streams to go as deep as 3000 kms into Jupiter. It’s surprising that it goes so deep... but it’s also surprising that it doesn’t go as deep as the jets,” Parisi says. “So something is happening at 500 kilometers that is basically dampening the Great Red Spot.”
The Great Red Spot is essentially a vent for all of Jupiter’s hot gases and liquids to escape into space. Jupiter, unlike our planet, does not have a solid surface.
A few weeks ago, it was discovered that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter was speeding up. The speed of the winds in the outer regions has gone up to 640 kmph, which is much more than the 432 kmph previously recorded.