Even Jupiter has to deal with shrinkage.
Jupiter's famed Great Red Spot, arguably the solar system's most famous attraction, is getting smaller.
New images released this week from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope confirm that the Great Red Spot continues to shrink and become more circular, as it has been doing for years.
The Great Red Spot is a monstrous storm, one that roars at wind speeds of up to 340 mph, according to NASA.
The storm is about 150 miles smaller in diameter than it was last year, NASA said. Though that seems like a lot, the area is still about 10,000 miles in diameter, enough to fit about two or three Earths.
Could it eventually vanish altogether? "At this point, we don't know when, or even if, the Great Red Spot will disappear," NASA planetary scientist Amy Simon said in an email to USA TODAY.
"The most likely case is that it will stabilize at a smaller size than it is now," she said. "It could reach that point in the next decade. It has been there since at least the late 1870s and was much bigger then."
The Great Red Spot is more orange than red these days, and its core, which typically has more intense color, is less distinct than it used to be, NASA reported.
Photos of our solar system from the Hubble continue to amaze and awe scientists back here on Earth.
“Every time we look at Jupiter, we get tantalizing hints that something really exciting is going on,” Simon said. “This time is no exception.”
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