Scientists Reveal Mystery behind Red Color of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Scientists Reveal Mystery behind Red Color of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

In 1665, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter was discovered by Giovanni Cassini. The red color of the massive storm is a mystery for scientists since then.

The scientists created a red material by using ultraviolet light (UV) to stimulate the sunlight and exploded it at ammonia and acetylene. The two gases are known to be present on the planet.

The storm's winds bring ammonia ice particles into the upper atmosphere of the planet, which get exposed to more UV light. This is the reason behind the intensity of red colour of the giant spot. According to NASA, ammonia boosts the red color of the spot.

The spot is so large that three earths can fit inside it and it has existed for more than 300 years.

The spot's rotation is counter-clockwise in a six-day cycle. It is twice the width of the Earth. The chemicals in the planet's upper atmosphere are being considered to generate the red spot.

"Our models suggest most of the Great Red Spot is actually pretty bland in color, beneath the upper cloud layer of reddish material. Under the reddish 'sunburn' the clouds are probably whitish or grayish", said NASA researcher Kevin Baines.

The spot is really tall and reaches very high altitudes than clouds anywhere else on the planet, he added. The spot also displays colors like orange, brown and other shades of red, other than red.

The spectral images of the Red Spot, taken by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS), were used by Baines and colleagues to look into the Red Spot's inner workings and for the assessment of their ground-based lab work.

The discovery will be presented by NASA at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, this week.


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