Jupiter Red Spot Facts

jupiter red spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Today, I want to take a closer look at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.  I thought it would be fun if we discussed some Jupiter Red Spot Facts.  Ready?  Here we go!

We’ve discussed the atmosphere of Jupiter in previous posts, so I’m not going to spend much time talking about the composition of the Jovian atmosphere.  While the Great Red Spot is part of Jupiter’s atmosphere, let’s consider some other facts:

  1. The Great Red Spot is an old storm!  It’s at least 180 years old and could possibly be over 340 years old.
  2. As long as we have been observing Jupiter, the Great Red Spot has been generally located on the same latitude.
  3. The current Great Red Spot is big enough to contain two or three planets the size of the Earth.
  4. The Great Red Spot rotates in a counter-clockwise direction.
  5. The Great Red Spot is higher than most of the other clouds in the Jovian atmosphere.



  6. The first record we have of the Great Red Spot was a drawing made by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe in 1831.  He was a German amateur astronomer.
  7. The Great Red Spot’s color varies over time from red to salmon to even light pink.
  8. The Great Red Spot is not connected to anything on Jupiter’s surface.  Rather, it is thought to be an enormous hurricane.
  9. We don’t really know what causes the reddish color of the Great Red Spot.  It is thought to consist of sulfur and phosphorus within the ammonia crystals in Jupiter’s clouds.
  10. It seems as though the Great Red Spot is shrinking.  Based on precise observations that were done by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, between 1996 and 206, the storm lost 15% of it’s size.
Image Credit:  NASA/ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

8 Responses to “Jupiter Red Spot Facts”

  • bryan says:

    Why the red giant spot is always found at Southern Hemisphere of Jupiter??


  • Emily says:

    Is there any evidence of Volcanoes??


    Greg - Staff Writer replied:

    Hi Emily –
    No, not on Jupiter. Jupiter is comprised mainly of gasses and liquid matter. While direct observations of the core have not been made (the atmosphere is extremely thick), it is thought to be comprised of liquid metalic hydrogen and some helium surrounded by molecular hydrogen. This is very different from the Earth’s mantle and core and as such, would not produce volcanoes as we know them.

    Thanks for the question!


  • Bayoushe says:



  • chase says:

    it think the land is gas beacause it is a gas giant.


  • cenobia says:

    i love jupiter


  • erica says:

    why does Jupiter have the red spot? Is it really important that Jupiter has the red spot?


  • David Pierce says:

    When is the storm expected to move out of sight to the other side of the planet?


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