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Great Red Spot on Jupiter

The Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter, 22 degrees south of the equator, which has lasted at least 340 years.

The storm is large enough to be visible through Earth-based telescopes.

It was probably first observed by Cassini, who described it around 1665.

The oval object rotates counterclockwise, with a period of about 6 days.

The Great Red Spot's dimensions are 24–40,000 km × 12–14,000 km.

It is large enough to contain two or three planets of Earth size.

The cloudtops of this storm are about 8 km above the surrounding cloudtops.

Storms such as this are not uncommon within the turbulent atmospheres of gas giants.

Jupiter also has white ovals and brown ovals, which are lesser unnamed storms.

White ovals tend to consist of relatively cool clouds within the upper atmosphere.

Brown ovals are warmer and located within the "normal cloud layer".

Such storms can last hours or centuries.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Great Red Spot on Jupiter", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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December 1, 2015

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