Earlier this year, amateur astronomers observed the extinction of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the largest known solar system storm,media reported. But experts from the University of California disagree, saying it’s just a normal weather phenomenon.
Multiple storm trackers have observed large areas of the storm falling off the Great Red Spot. This led some to conclude that the huge storm could subside or even longer after centuries of ravaging (at least for the time known to humans).
It’s not all that fast, says Philip S. Marcus, a professor of fluids at the University of California.
At a meeting of the American Physical Society in Seattle this week, Marcus said his team disagreed with the conclusion, instead believing that all they saw was the normal weather phenomenon of the gas-state star.
Specifically, the clouds above Jupiter’s atmosphere are observed on Earth, but this does not necessarily represent the vortex below. “You can’t simply conclude that if a cloud gets smaller and smaller, the underlying vortex will get smaller and smaller, ” says Marcus. “
By studying computer simulations, Marcus and his team observed that anticyclone clouds do not always signal potential storms. The shearing observed by astronomers is likely the result of a cyclone near the Great Red Spot and two interactions of the wind. Coupled with a combination of a smaller storm and an anti-cyclone, it could be what we saw earlier this year.