A Close Look at Jupiter’s Little Red Spot
NASA’s Juno spacecraft snapped this shot of Jupiter’s giant storm known as the Little Red Spot (lower left).
Like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the little spot is a persistent weather storm on Jupiter’s surface. Despite its size, the little red spot still packs a punch, with wind speeds of 400 MPH.
The Little Red Spot is the second largest storm on Jupiter, roughly 70% the size of the Earth, and it started turning red in late-2005. The clouds in the Little Red Spot rotate counterclockwise, or in the anticyclonic direction, because it is a high-pressure region. In that sense, the Little Red Spot is the opposite of a hurricane on Earth, which is a low-pressure region – and, of course, the Little Red Spot is far larger than any hurricane on Earth.
The image was captured on on Dec. 11, 2016 as the spacecraft performed a close flyby of the gas giant planet. The spacecraft was at an altitude of 10,300 miles (16,600 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops.