Jupiter has a Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is a giant, spinning storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere. It is like a hurricane on Earth, but it is much larger. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is more than twice the size of Earth! Winds inside this storm reach speeds of about 430 km/hr.
Researchers from the UK and USA have found that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is blasting the planet’s upper atmosphere with heat.
Using measurements from an infrared telescope in Hawaii, they found evidence for temperatures as high as 1,300 degrees Celcius – hundreds of degrees warmer than anywhere else on the planet!
They suggest the hotspot is created by thunderous soundwaves “breaking” in the thin upper reaches of the atmosphere.
Scientists have been trying to uncover the reason why temperatures in Jupiter’s atmosphere are bafflingly high when the planet is more than five times the distance from the Sun than Earth. Here at home, the sunlight is what heats the atmosphere at altitudes high above the surface, but Jupiter’s atmosphere also reaches the same high temperatures.
This finding may offer a solution to why Jupiter is so warm.