Jupiter's Great Red Spot likely isn't dying after all

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Multiple storm trackers observed what appeared to be large sections of the storm – described as flakes, blades and hooks – peeling away from the main spot. These led some to conclude that the giant storm may be winding down after raging on for centuries (that we know of, at least) and maybe even longer.

Not so fast, says Philip S. Marcus, a professor of fluid mechanics at the University of California.

During a news conference at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Seattle this week, Marcus said they “beg to differ with that conclusion.” Instead, Marcus and his team believe what we saw is simply the result of normal weather on the gas giant.

Specifically, what we observe from here on Earth are the clouds high atop Jupiter’s atmosphere. These aren’t necessarily representative of what is happening with the actual vortex that is swirling hundreds of miles below.

“You can’t just conclude that if a cloud is getting smaller that the underlying vortex is getting smaller,” Marcus said.

By studying computer simulations, Marcus and his colleagues observed that clouds of anticyclones aren’t always indicative of the underlying storm. The shearing that astronomers observed was likely the result of a cyclone coming close to the Great Red Spot and the winds of the two interacting. This, mixed with a smaller storm merging with the anticyclone, could produce what we saw earlier this year.

Masthead credit: Jupiter by NASA images

Permalink to story.

 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
I guess no one saw the amateur astronomers part so they took them seriously. Kind of why things need to be observed by multiple people in the same field before making any assumptions. Otherwise you just look like a ***.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShagnWagn

neeyik

TS Evangelist
Staff member
There's nothing amateurish behind the notion that the Great Red Spot is towards the end of its natural existence. From when detailed records began, the observed rotation rate of the storm has decreased, as has the overall length of the storm. White spots on Jupiter showing similar trends have disappeared. The empirical evidence is suggesting one thing; an interpretation of a computer model is suggesting another. That's science.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
You can't say an apple is good by looking at its skin. It may even have a worm inside it. About every simpleton knows this.

This is another thing that irks me about "scientists". They see the surface and use their religion of uniformitarianism to make assumptions, of which they are completely wrong. Then they look stupid over and over again. What happens when someone lies to your face over and over? You don't trust them any more. Yet many still thing they are infallible. /shrug
 

Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
You can't say an apple is good by looking at its skin. It may even have a worm inside it. About every simpleton knows this.

This is another thing that irks me about "scientists". They see the surface and use their religion of uniformitarianism to make assumptions, of which they are completely wrong. Then they look stupid over and over again. What happens when someone lies to your face over and over? You don't trust them any more. Yet many still thing they are infallible. /shrug
No I guess you'd rather get your information from the m0ron in Chief's tweets. Go and peddle your anti-science ignoramus BS elsewhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbrowne5061

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
No I guess you'd rather get your information from the m0ron in Chief's tweets. Go and peddle your anti-science ignoramus BS elsewhere.
Uh, my post is not anti-science. You should read it slower. It's anti-lie. I love science - not guesswork. Guessing is not science. Go and peddle your uniformitarianism religion somewhere else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cliffordcooley

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
This is no more “conclusive” than the assumption that the red spot is dying.... when the subject of debate is millions of miles away, it can only be guesswork.... one hypothesis might be more logical than another, but we have no evidence of either yet.
 
This is another thing that irks me about "scientists". They see the surface and use their religion of uniformitarianism to make assumptions, of which they are completely wrong. Then they look stupid over and over again. What happens when someone lies to your face over and over? You don't trust them any more. Yet many still thing they are infallible. /shrug
“religion of uniformitarianism”?
“lies”?
“think they are infallible”?

Who are you referring to? These statements are either straw men or tilting at made up windmills.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbrowne5061

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Uh, my post is not anti-science. You should read it slower. It's anti-lie. I love science - not guesswork. Guessing is not science. Go and peddle your uniformitarianism religion somewhere else.
Observe -> hypothesis -> experiment -> peer-review -> theory -> experiment -> peer-review -> mathematics proof -> peer-review -> law/known-quantity

This is the chain of science. To go from 'observe' to 'hypothesis' takes a literal guess. This was a hypothesis put forth by amateur astronomers (which basically means 'anyone with a telescope not affiliated with a university'), that did not survive an experiment performed during a peer review.

This was process was the very definition of science. The problem isn't scientists, its journalists who report on hypothesizes as if they are already laws.