Jupiter’s large red spot is 40 times deeper than the Mariana Tomb

Jupiter’s cloud-forming “weather layer” gives the gas giant its striped appearance. In this composite image you can see the planet in infrared (left) and visible (right) light. Image taken by the Gemini North Telescope and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, respectively. (Image credit: International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / NASA / ESA, MH Wong and I. de Pater (UC Berkeley) et al. This illustration combines an image of Jupiter from the JunoCam instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft with a composite image of Earth to depict the size and depth of Jupiter’s large red spot.This illustration combines an image of Jupiter from the JunoCam instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft with a composite image of Earth to depict the size and depth of Jupiter. Jupiter’s Big Red Spot Credits: JunoCam Image Data: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS; JunoCam Image Processing by Kevin M. Gill (CC BY); Earth Image: NASA)

On Jupiter, a storm has been brewing for more than 300 years. This swirling high-pressure area, known as the Great Red Spot, is clearly visible from space and spans a region of Jupiter’s atmosphere that is more than 16,000 kilometers wide – about one and a quarter times the diameter of the earth.

But there is even more in the thundering storm than one can see; according to two new studies published on October 28 in journal ScienceJupiter’s large red spot is also extraordinarily deep and extends as many as 300 miles (480 km) into the planet’s atmosphere – or about 40 times as deep as Mariana Trench on earth.

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