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May 26, 2008

Stealing the "spot" light

Posted: 01:19 PM ET

Okay, so I’m here in Pasadena covering the Mars landing, but yet another planet has stolen my attention for the moment. My brother sent this compelling picture to me. Do you recognize it?

Source: NASA, ESA, M. Wong, I. de Pater (UC Berkeley), et al.

No, it's not a plate of bacon and eggs. For more than 300 years, that signature storm on Jupiter known as The Great Red Spot has been eye candy for telescopic viewers around the world.

In 2006, a second red spot appeared, and just last month the Hubble trained its Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on yet a third one.

So what accounts for this planetary acne outbreak? Prom season perhaps?

Scientists think climate change is the culprit, as the giant gas planet gets warmer near the equator.

- Alex Walker, Producer, CNN Science & Technology

Filed under: Jupiter • NASA • Space


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Ron Bennett   May 26th, 2008 2:46 pm ET

One must also take into consideration the rotations of Saturn; it is phenomenal about 10 hrs 14 minutes at its equator. Saturn Equatorial rotation velocity just below its cloud tops rotates about the same speed as its escape velocity. In other words an object orbiting Saturn just below its cloud tops in the same direction may take a long time to fall to its surface especially if that object is buoyant.


Sylvia   May 26th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

Why is Jupiter's equator getting warmer? I don't doubt what you say. I just want to know WHY this is happening.


Ron Bennett   May 26th, 2008 4:42 pm ET

O-o-o-p-s above wording I made is wrong- Saturn Equatorial rotation velocity just below its cloud tops rotates about the same speed as its escape velocity – should say rotates about the same speed as its orbital velocity....


Paul   May 26th, 2008 5:07 pm ET

What craziness is this? We all know by now that climate change has nothing to do with the sun or natural cycles of planets. I am surprised that CNN allows Denier propaganda like this.


Amn Snuffy   May 27th, 2008 10:21 am ET

God, I hope that was sarcasm....=P
I'd also like to know if there are any factories below the cloud tops, polluting the pure Jovian atmosphere with.... what would classify as a pollutant on Jupiter?


j damon   May 27th, 2008 11:29 am ET

Fresh air? Clean water? One mans poison...


Timmy   May 27th, 2008 1:17 pm ET

Ask Al Gore. Somehow it will be George Bush's fault. Mars has gone up 1 degree F in 30 yrs. Damn You, Global Warming !


David   May 27th, 2008 1:34 pm ET

Maybe Al Gore can tell us why Jupiter is getter warmer and then he can make a Oscar winning movie about it.


junod   May 27th, 2008 7:43 pm ET

The closer we get to alignment of the galactic equator, the sun and the earth, the more magnetic activity we will see everywhere until it finally hits our planet.


Brian   May 27th, 2008 11:00 pm ET

climate change? Global warming? George Bush must be hiding his backup machine on Jupiter


Saggia   May 28th, 2008 2:01 pm ET

The article doesn't state Jupiter's climate is getting warmer, it states that it's climate, like Earth's, is warmer near the equator. I guess the knee jerk reactionary posts say a lot about how conservatives selectively process information until the most unrelated matter is convoluted into some kind of slam against environmentalists or liberals.


Brian   May 28th, 2008 4:01 pm ET

Saggia says... "The article doesn’t state Jupiter’s climate is getting warmer"

This is the direct quote from the article above... "Scientists think climate change is the culprit, as the giant gas planet gets warmer near the equator."

talk about "selectively" processing information...


Da Captain   May 28th, 2008 7:02 pm ET

Jupiter getting warmer.... OMG... we need to turn Hubble on it and count the SUVs... might give us some insight on how many we can have!

We finally found life on another planet... and they make cars... cause we all know global warming can't happen without people.... lol


ronald w.   May 29th, 2008 10:23 am ET

I had more fun reading the comments than the article being commented on. Not the journalist's fault, the piece was well written, I was amused by the nonsense spouted (on both sides) in the "global warming" argument. Keep arguing about how many angels dance on your pinheads, while our so-called leaders continue to steal our freedoms, our wealth and our hope for a better future. Good work guys!


Leon   May 29th, 2008 1:45 pm ET

So – has any planetary scientist surveyed the climates on the planets – namely the gas giants of Jupiter and Saturn – to assess if there are anomalies there that can be correlated to earth? What IF the global warming we are experiencing is due to effects from the sun itself and not from carbon emissions here on earth? Are we properly spending our dollars to combat the right problem or generate the correct solution?


Jim   May 29th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

It's amazing to me... this is the first and only time I have seen this article. The media is quick to televise what 'facts' that show that we are causing this change on Earth, but don't share news that can damn their 'facts'.

I also find it amusing that those who complain about losing our freedoms are the first to give everything up when they are asked to. The government... left or right... is not taking our freedoms away, we are giving them away! Sometimes just to 'Save the Earth'.


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