Incredible Images Of Jupiter Show Giant Storm That Could End Up Rivalling The Great Red Spot
Incredible images taken by NASA and ESA's Hubble telescope show a huge storm on the planet Jupiter.
According to the US space agency, the footage shows a 'bright, white, stretched-out storm moving at 560 kilometres per hour' and while storms in that region are fairly common, researchers reckon this one is a bit different and could be forming a permanent feature.
A statement from ESA and NASA read: "Researchers speculate this may be the beginning of a longer-lasting northern hemisphere spot, perhaps to rival the legendary Great Red Spot that dominates the southern hemisphere."
Meanwhile, the image shows that the Great Red Spot is currently 'an exceptionally rich red colour, with its core and outermost band appearing deeper red'. According to researchers, the spot now measures a whopping 15,800km across - big enough to swallow the entire planet Earth - but it is actually shrinking.
The reason why it's getting smaller isn't known, but experts have noticed that the speed with which its shrinking has slowed.
Researchers also noted that another of Jupiter's features have changed - the Oval BA, which has also been nicknamed Red Spot Jr, had been losing some of its red colour and turning white, but now the core of the storm looks to be deepening to a red again.
The statement goes on to say: "This could be a hint that Red Spot Jr is on its way to reverting to a colour more similar to that of its cousin."
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Research using computer simulations suggested that the reservoirs below the ice-shell of Europa could be home to alien life.
Lead author Dr Mohit Melwani Daswani, a geochemist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said: "We believe this ocean could be quite habitable for life."
In 2016 the Hubble Space Telescope found evidence of plumes of water vapour erupting from the surface of Europa.
The team used data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft and Hubble to build their model, the results of which have not yet been peer-reviewed but were presented at the 2020 Goldschmidt geochemistry conference.
The simulations showed that the sea found on Europa has a composition that is 'more like the oceans on Earth' than previously thought.
Dr Daswani added: "Europa is one of our best chances of finding life in our solar system."
Featured Image Credit: NASA/ESA
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