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Hubble images show Jupiter's Great Red Spot shrinking
Posted: Sun, May 18, 2014, 10:42 AM ET (1442 GMT)
Jupiter Great Red Spot in 2014 (NASA/STScI) New images from the Hubble Space Telescope show that Jupiter's Great Red Spot has shrunk to the smallest size ever observed for the massive storm. The Hubble images, taken earlier this year, show the Great Red Spot is now about 16,500 kilometers across, about one-third smaller than when the Voyager spacecraft flew past Jupiter in 1979. Astronomers have been observing a gradual shrinking of the storm, as well as a change in shape from oblong to more circular; that rate of shrinkage has increased in recent years. Scientists speculate that interactions with small eddies in the atmosphere may be draining the storm of energy and causing it to become smaller.
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