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Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking

Everything about Jupiter is super-sized, including its colorful, turbulent atmosphere. But there's fresh evidence that one of the planet's most recognizable features, the Great Red Spot, is shrinking. The spot, which is actually an ancient monster storm that measures about three Earths across, lost 15 percent of its diameter between 1996 and 2006, scientists have found.

Since its discovery, the Great Red Spot has remained essentially constant in size, but in recent years as global warming trends on Earth have picked up and the polar ice caps have receeded, so has the Great Red Spot.

Astronomers have been tracking it since the 1870s, said Glenn Orton, a senior research scientist at NASA'S Jet Propulsion Laboratory who investigates planetary atmospheres. "It is possible that the spot may one day disappear," he added.

If that happens, so too may disappear Earth's polar ice caps - revealing as of yet unknown dangers now frozen deep beneath the Arctic and Antarctic ice masses.

Okay, so I made some of this up. The Great Red Spot really is shrinking, though.
CNN has the full story.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
hydra_velsen
Apr. 2nd, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
Well the solar wind has dropped about 15% in the last few years too. maybe there's a correlation?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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wolffit
Galen Wolffit

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