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Jupiter’s ‘Red Jr.’ March 10, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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Jupiter, the king of planets, is a fluid and changing world, as recent observations have shown.

A powerful storm, which first developed in 2000, known as Oval BA has taken on an altered appearance recently. An appearance much more akin to a better known storm whirling in the Jovian atmosphere. Once white in color the storm has gained the familiar red hue of the Great Red Spot, a Jovian hurricane capable of swallowing more than two Earths.

Red Jr.

The storm appeared over a four year period from 1997 to 2000. It was the result of a merger of two smaller storms.

Interestingly enough no one really knows why the Great Red Spot, and now Oval BA, have a red color. Scientists have long had suspicions on the cause and the recent observations of Oval BA might help to confirm some to of the theories about the hue and formation of these great storms.

Scientists suspect the color of the storm has something to do with intensity and altitude, something that the evolution of Oval BA may help confirm.

Check out these links for more information on Oval BA:

NASA feature
Christopher Go’s Web site (astrophotos and info)

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