• Question: How was the red spot on Jupiter formed?

    Asked by DJSAmelia to Hannah, Lucy, Phil, Rochelle, Stephen on 14 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Lucy Kissick

      Lucy Kissick answered on 14 Mar 2017:


      Jupiter’s Great red Spot is a gigantic storm like a hurricane, spinning round at up to 400 miles an hour. Scientists still aren’t sure how it got there or why it’s so red, but their best guess is that a gas called ammonium hydrosulfide is being bombarded with cosmic particles from the Sun and is producing other gases that swirl together to make storms.

    • Photo: Phil Sutton

      Phil Sutton answered on 14 Mar 2017:


      On a different note you might want to also have a look at the hexagon at Saturn’s North pole. It too is related to the way winds work on these planets. The strong winds in its atmosphere have actually created what looks like a solid unnatural looking hexagon at its north pole that has been there for a very long time.

    • Photo: Stephen Pulker

      Stephen Pulker answered on 14 Mar 2017:


      Good answer from Lucy! Can’t add to that.
      Neptune also has a Great Dark Spot which comes and goes intermittently . . . these spots are artefacts from atmosphere moving in complex patterns driven by the rotation of the planet, by the heat of the sun and heat from lower in the atmosphere. Earth gets very temporary “spots” too . . . . hurricanes, cyclone and tornados!!!

    • Photo: Hannah Sargeant

      Hannah Sargeant answered on 15 Mar 2017:


      The red spot has been looked at by astronomers for years and there are some records that go as far back as the 1600’s. That means the storm has been going on for over 350 years!

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