APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May 02)

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APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon May 02, 2011 4:06 am

Image Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1

Explanation: It is a hurricane twice the size of the Earth. It has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it, and shows no signs of slowing. It is Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the largest swirling storm system in the Solar System. Like most astronomical phenomena, the Great Red Spot was neither predicted nor immediately understood after its discovery. Still today, details of how and why the Great Red Spot changes its shape, size, and color remain mysterious. A better understanding of the weather on Jupiter may help contribute to the better understanding of weather here on Earth. The above image is a recently completed digital enhancement of an image of Jupiter taken in 1979 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it zoomed by the Solar System's largest planet. At about 117 AU from Earth, Voyager 1 is currently the most distant human made object in the universe and expected to leave the entire solar heliosheath any time now.

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B

Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by B » Mon May 02, 2011 9:37 am

The great red spot of Jupiter is likely a vast volcanic vent spewing sulfur - oxygen compounds into the upper atmosphere while atmospheric turbulence must cause the red spot to assume an oval shape. There are probably other volcanic vents similar to great red spot.

Carla Levon

Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Carla Levon » Mon May 02, 2011 9:59 am

I thought I was watching one of Van Gogh´s piece!

RawSunlight

Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by RawSunlight » Mon May 02, 2011 10:05 am

If it's a volcanic vent that causes the GRS, how does it transit the circumference of the planet?
That process would seem to make sense for the various bands, but the Spot? Is it possible that one cataclysmic event created it?

It's an extraordinary planet, and the photo shows beautifully the giant chaotic swirls and eddies; indeed, just like a Van Gogh detail :)

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It's Not Volcanic

Post by nstahl » Mon May 02, 2011 10:06 am

B wrote:The great red spot of Jupiter is likely a vast volcanic vent spewing sulfur - oxygen compounds into the upper atmosphere while atmospheric turbulence must cause the red spot to assume an oval shape. There are probably other volcanic vents similar to great red spot.
No.
Wikipedia article on the Atmosphere of Jupiter wrote:The Great Red Spot's latitude has been stable for the duration of good observational records, typically varying by about a degree. Its longitude, however, is subject to constant variation. Because Jupiter does not rotate uniformly at all latitudes, astronomers have defined three different systems for defining the longitude. System II is used for latitudes of more than 10°, and was originally based on the average rotation rate of the Great Red Spot of 9h 55m 42s. Despite this, the spot has "lapped" the planet in System II at least 10 times since the early 19th century. Its drift rate has changed dramatically over the years and has been linked to the brightness of the South Equatorial Belt, and the presence or absence of a South Tropical Disturbance.
And according to that same article the atmosphere lacks a clear lower boundary, rather it transitions gradually into the "fluid interior of the planet" so it seems we can rule out volcanic activity.

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Ann » Mon May 02, 2011 11:28 am

I've always thought that the fantastic atmospheric swirls, storms and bands of Jupiter are incredibly beautiful.

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by NoelC » Mon May 02, 2011 1:16 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Voyager 1 is currently the most distant human made object in the universe and expected to leave the entire solar heliosheath any time now.
I SWEAR I remember reading that this had already happened. Old text maybe? Or am I thinking of a different boundary?

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by owlice » Mon May 02, 2011 1:23 pm

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by NoelC » Mon May 02, 2011 1:31 pm

Thank you. What I remembered must have been, "In June 2010 Voyager 1 beamed back a startling number: zero. ".

It didn't occur to me that the heliosheath was thick. I had envisioned it as a singular boundary.

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Ailean4321 » Mon May 02, 2011 3:31 pm

Jupiter is absolutely my favorite of the planets in our solar system. It is absolutely beautiful, and this picture shows a close up of that beauty. <3
I would much rather claim Jupiter as my home planet than Earth.
-Ailean

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Ann » Mon May 02, 2011 4:33 pm

Ailean4321 wrote:Jupiter is absolutely my favorite of the planets in our solar system. It is absolutely beautiful, and this picture shows a close up of that beauty. <3
I would much rather claim Jupiter as my home planet than Earth.
-Ailean
Ailean4321, eh? So you are from galaxy Messier 100, are you? :wink: Well, congratulations, because M100, also known as NGC 4321, is a magnificent galaxy! :D

http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/m100.shtml

(Although I personally feel grateful that I live on the Earth and not inside Jupiter... :shock: )

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Last edited by Ann on Mon May 02, 2011 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by trekman » Mon May 02, 2011 8:37 pm

The picture of the Red Spot on Jupiter is over 30 years old. Does Jupiter 1 and Jupiter still send pictures back to earth? If so, where can I see more recent pics? Thanks. :D

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by NoelC » Mon May 02, 2011 9:25 pm

Jupiter 1??? The Voyager spacecraft are now much farther from Jupiter than we are.

I don't believe we have a spacecraft there at the moment. There's one scheduled to launch later this year...

http://planetary.org/explore/topics/jup ... sions.html

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by trekman » Mon May 02, 2011 11:16 pm

Noel, sorry I did mean the voyager missions. I was curious if they are still sending pictures since they are so far away?

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Frenchy » Tue May 03, 2011 12:30 am

An example of atmospheric differentiation???

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Boomer12k » Tue May 03, 2011 1:16 am

What a GREAT picture!

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by biddie67 » Tue May 03, 2011 1:32 am

Just as Earth has enormous pressures in its core and has volcanoes to relieve those pressures, couldn't Jupiter, even though it's a gas planet, have such pressures in its core that there could be analogous pressure relief features like the Great Red Spot that doesn't stay in one place like volcanoes on Earth but that moves in response to Saturn's rotation or other gravitational influences?

B

Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by B » Tue May 03, 2011 8:54 am

Volcanic vents come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and physical characteristics. Compared with the GRS on Jupiter, the great blue spot of Neptune must be a water fountain. The GBS of Neptune has long since dimminished but the physical conditions which caused it must still be there. On Jupiter volcanic vents must be plastic features which migrate across the circumference of the planet freely. The entire mantle of Jupiter must be a layer of molten plastic material.
The GRS is probably colored yellow because it vents sulfur compounds relatively deep within the planet's plastic mantle. Other smaller vents on Jupiter which appear white are probably volcanic in origin as well, but these must be associated with mantle material closer to the surface; the white color is probably due to the presence of water.

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by atalas » Tue May 03, 2011 10:02 am

Isn't that just incredible detail !

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by orin stepanek » Tue May 03, 2011 12:47 pm

atalas wrote:Isn't that just incredible detail !
Yes! I was really impressed with the detail of the clouds. 8-)
Carla Levon wrote:I thought I was watching one of Van Gogh´s piece!
It does look like an oil painting; just beautiful! :)
Orin

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 03, 2011 2:22 pm

biddie67 wrote:Just as Earth has enormous pressures in its core and has volcanoes to relieve those pressures, couldn't Jupiter, even though it's a gas planet, have such pressures in its core that there could be analogous pressure relief features like the Great Red Spot that doesn't stay in one place like volcanoes on Earth but that moves in response to Saturn's rotation or other gravitational influences?
I don't think this is possible. Volcanoes exist on Earth because there is lateral differentiation in the crust. But there is no crust equivalent on the gas giants. These planets are almost completely fluid, probably with small solid cores which I'd expect to be laterally uniform. There would be no mechanism in such a structure for anything analogous to volcanism.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by StarCuriousAero » Thu May 05, 2011 6:15 pm

I find it a little close-minded to immediately dismiss the possibilty of a volcano-analogous process to be occurring on the "surface" of a planet to which we've never been. I'm not refuting "evidence" against it or links to other possible causes, but the nature of the scientific process should not allow for such dismissal. We all know correlation is not causation, and speculation should be regarded as such, while maintaining due respect. We simply don't know for sure until we get down there. Hypotheses don't deserve to be greeted with a "No" followed by a wikipedia quote. Normally though, Chris, I tend to find your posts add something significant to the discussion, but in this case I thought it was a bit rude. If you wish to quote wikipedia, do so with a disclaimer and don't represent it as fact, or instead go to the references listed below on the wiki article for a more credible source.

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu May 05, 2011 6:38 pm

StarCuriousAero wrote:I find it a little close-minded to immediately dismiss the possibilty of a volcano-analogous process to be occurring on the "surface" of a planet to which we've never been. I'm not refuting "evidence" against it or links to other possible causes, but the nature of the scientific process should not allow for such dismissal. We all know correlation is not causation, and speculation should be regarded as such, while maintaining due respect. We simply don't know for sure until we get down there. Hypotheses don't deserve to be greeted with a "No" followed by a wikipedia quote. Normally though, Chris, I tend to find your posts add something significant to the discussion, but in this case I thought it was a bit rude. If you wish to quote wikipedia, do so with a disclaimer and don't represent it as fact, or instead go to the references listed below on the wiki article for a more credible source.
Like I said, I don't think volcanism is possible. Volcanism exists in material with certain physical properties, and those properties are not present in gas, fluid, or hyperdense media. I don't see what is rude or unscientific about that observation. You offered a suggestion, and I offered my opinion on why I think it is unlikely to be possible, along with my reasons. We don't need to actually go there to be pretty sure of how things work.

You seem to be suggesting some sort of "volcano-analogous process" as opposed to ordinary volcanism. But to discuss that in any detail, you'll need to be much more specific about what you mean.

BTW, I didn't quote Wikipedia, or make any references to Wikipedia articles in my comment.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by StarCuriousAero » Thu May 05, 2011 8:52 pm

Sorry Chris, someone else was the rude person, it wasn't you looking back, what you said wasn't rude at all, and yes you did offer scientific reason.

I don't personally know much at all about volcanism, I just think "B"s reasoning that different density gases/liquids(?) flowing next to each other might produce some sort of weather process similar to volcanic venting capable of causing the ongoing storm is still possible and not worth dismissal, just because we haven't seen anything like it on Earth. B seemed to offer credible mechanisms for what he was suggesting, and seemed to be supported by biddie67, but it wasn't you who "dismissed" them really. I was just trying to offer support since what they suggest does seem possible/logical to me, but I'm no physicist or climatologist.

I do always find it immensely irritating in general though when someone offers an idea never-before-thought-of to explain something, and then gets shut down by others, because there have been too many examples in the past where they turned out to be right. We still have a lot to learn about our universe. Sorry for my misdirected wrath, it wasn't meant for you Chris, I just need to learn not to be so hasty in my replies I suppose and keep it anonymous just in case I read something wrong again. :-/

HD 110379

Re: APOD: Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 (2011 May

Post by HD 110379 » Fri May 06, 2011 7:04 pm

The vortex clearly turns counter clockwise from upper layers of atmosphere, while turning clockwise deeper. Interesting thermodynamics or perhaps sun playing role there.