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Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking

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  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:23AM (#27430879) Homepage Journal

    Here I was ready to make some crack about how global warming is causing jupiter's red spot to shrink and this shows that the sun is having some other effect, and there it is in the tags:

    "globalwarming manbearpig globalshrinking...."

    totally burst my bubble, stole my thunder... I might actually have to do some work.

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:43AM (#27431283)

      Here I was ready to make some crack

      I knew it!

      Even drug dealers read Slashdot!

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:23AM (#27430881) Journal

    Scientists know about shrinkage, right?

    Let me just point out that it's very cold in space. Even with the sun nearby, I think we'd all experience at least a little bit of shrinkage if we were in Jupiter's position and it's not fair for the other planets to laugh at him.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fracai (796392)

      ... it's not fair for the other planets to laugh at him.

      I don't think the other planets are listening to you as I'm pretty sure I can hear Pluto laughing from here; something about "serves you right!".

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:58AM (#27431567)

      Let me just point out that it's very cold in space. Even with the sun nearby, I think we'd all experience at least a little bit of shrinkage if we were in Jupiter's position and it's not fair for the other planets to laugh at him.

      Venus: That's what every man says. The truth is, you're just upset that Saturn has over 200 satellites to your... uhh... 63. Plus, you've completely lost control of your weight these past few millenia and have horrible acne. Seriously, clean up your atmosphere and do something about those red splotches and maybe you'll have a chance with some of the inner planets.

      • Man, I still recall when I was a kid and Jupiter and Saturn only had about 10 moons each. Also, Pluto was a planet. And the only pictures of Uranus and Neptune were blurry blobs with more lens flare than detail and Pluto was just a little dot.

        And despite all that I was _still_ obsessed with astronomy! :-)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ArsonSmith (13997)

          Wow grandpa, did you know Galileo personally?

          Pluto a planet?!? That was like what the people that thought the earth was flat thought, right?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by skinlayers (621258)
      Factual C It is not "very cold in space". In fact, depending on your point of view, the radiation can make it quite 'hot'. Temperature is the kinetic vibration of matter. Its just there's not a lot of matter to vibrate in the void. What we often perceive as the effects of the tempurature of space, is actually the near vacuum.
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:43PM (#27432383) Homepage

      Let me just point out that it's very cold in space. Even with the sun nearby, I think we'd all experience at least a little bit of shrinkage if we were in Jupiter's position and it's not fair for the other planets to laugh at him.

      Well we sure have no room to laugh. Jupiter's spot, shrinkage and all, is still several times bigger than our entire planet.

      Saturn probably has the right for a chuckle or two, though, and Neptune might join in. Uranus as usual will just try to avoid attention since it always ends up with it being made fun of.

    • Scientists know about shrinkage, right?

      Let me just point out that it's very cold in space.

      What the hell is shrinkage and what does it have to do with being cold? Is this another one of those North American things?

  • Given the area of Jupiter's red spot (Which is humongous) I'm surprised it's shrunk as much as 15% but the Pi was never my strong point :)

    It may start to grow again or it my shrink even further all we really know is one day it will probably disappear only to be replaced by another

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:28AM (#27430971)

    Perfect time to send some spam to Jupiter.

  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:28AM (#27430979) Homepage

    Somewhere on Jupiter...

    "Welp, reckon that storm front's finally breakin' up, Edgar."
    "Ayup. Haven't seen a storm like that since the hundred-fifty-year* one back up near the poles."
    "Yup, yup, that one had the cattle all rustled up somethin' fierce."
    "Reckon y'don't see storms like that any more."

    For some reason, this entire story strikes me as just realizing that Jupiter has weather systems. They just might be longer than Earth ones.

    *: Jupiter years.

  • by new_breed (569862) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:29AM (#27430991)
    Please tell me there will be a 2010 joke in here somewhere...don't dissapoint me moviegeeks!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mmkkbb (816035)

      You could have just, I dunno, made one.

      **spoiler!!!**

      I wonder if Clarke chose that year because a craft leaving Earth in 2010 would arrive at Jupiter in 2012 and thus the Leonov would witness the birth of a new sun just as the world is ending!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by click2005 (921437)

      2010: The Space Oxy??

    • by Whammy666 (589169)
      I was wondering if anyone was going to connect this to 2010. Maybe Jupiter has finally passed puberty.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      All of these worlds are yours, except Europa. attempt no landings there. Use them together. Use them in peace.
    • by cashman73 (855518)
      All these worlds are yours,
      EXCEPT EUROPA.
      Attempt no landings there.
      Use them together.
      Use them in peace.

      There, fixed it for ya!

    • by Chabo (880571)

      moviegeeks

      Pfft. I read the whole book series. He made four books, only two of which were made into movies.

  • It's just shy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thered2001 (1257950) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:29AM (#27431009) Journal
    With all the photos we've been taking of it over the past 30 or so years, it's just being coy.
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#27431031)

    It's not getting blacker by chance is it?

  • by spurious cowherd (104353) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:40AM (#27431211)

    ..we need to make sure we stay away from Europa

  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:40AM (#27431229)
    Let me be the first to say that the Great Red Spot is too big to fail!
    • by Zordak (123132)
      This is the only truly funny thing I've read on Slashdot in 48 hours (and yes, I'm including Squeez Bacon---that was just disturbing).
  • 2010 (Score:4, Funny)

    by HunterZ (20035) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:43AM (#27431281) Journal

    We should see if we can get the Russians to take US scientists along on a ship next year to investigate.

  • Jupiter's acne is finally clearing up! Should really do something about all those brown and white rings though... I mean, take a shower once in a while
  • Where is Smiling Bob when you need him?

  • Monolith (Score:2, Funny)

    by koterica (981373)
    In a related story, NASA has announced the first manned mission to Jupiter, the purpose of which is to examine a large rectangular black object sitting in synchronous orbit above the storm.
  • I remember hearing this when I was in grade school. Hasn't this been supposedly been going on throughout the latter part of the last century?
  • The Great Red Spot will start to grow again next month
  • Maybe the Red Spot is a timer, and when it finally disappears something really interesting will happen, like:

    - God (in his Flying Spaghetti Monster incarnation) will appear and prove Its existence once and for all
    - Jupiter will emit a cosmic alarm announcing that our solar system is finally finished
    - Jupiter will ignite and become a small star
    - Mankind will achieve true enlightenment (as every nuclear weapon on the planet goes off simiultaneously)

    Any other ideas?

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Maybe the Red Spot is a timer, and when it finally disappears something really interesting will happen, like:

      It will go "BING!" and we'll know it's ready to be eaten.

      And it will taste like chicken.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Maybe the Red Spot is a timer, and when it finally disappears something really interesting will happen, like:

      • God (in his Flying Spaghetti Monster incarnation) will appear and prove Its existence once and for all

      Its a giant meatball, sinking into the sauce!

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      - God (in his Flying Spaghetti Monster incarnation) will appear and prove Its existence once and for all

      Y'know, that's a tricky one. Given Clarke's third law [wikipedia.org], I don't see any way that Yaweh or FSM or Zeus or whatever can prove anything other that the fact that He (She/It/Them/Whatever) is a sufficiently advanced alien. I'm certainly not qualified to judge the difference, and I don't believe anyone who claims that they are.

      - Mankind will achieve true enlightenment (as every nuclear weapon on the planet goes off simiultaneously)

      Oh, well, in that case, I suppose it will no longer matter whether the "proof" is valid or not. Never mind. :)

  • Someone commented on global warming and other things and I wonder about that. Some say global warming is caused by man and his emissions. Other say it's due to natural causes and likely has a lot to do with changes in solar activity.

    This is a potentially testable argument. We have, after all, various probes in the solar system and at least two roaming around on a neighbor planet. Can't we make some determinations based on data outside of our atmosphere how changes in the sun's state affects other bodies

    • ...you had a couple thousand years to gather data. One of the biggest issues is that we're trying to extrapolate a very high order polynomial with poorly defined points which are close together.
      And we're trying to do it with many factors contributing. The problem is that everyone wants the answer now, or at the latest in time for Fall sweeps. You just don't get that kind of historic data in such a short period.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I wouldn't be so quick to say that. After all, we can detect all sorts of things such as the presence of water on distant planets and such. I am sure that various observations related to various changes and observations might be used to form some theories.

        While it is undoubtedly true that if we had absolutely perfect direct data we could form a more precise determination, but noting other evidence could certainly assist in pointing the way.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      Can't we make some determinations based on data outside of our atmosphere how changes in the sun's state affects other bodies in the solar system?

      What makes you think people haven't done just that? And guess what? So far... the answer is 'no', solar variability hasn't resulted in any noticeable changes on the other planets in the solar system (certainly not over the past 50 years, when global warming has accelerated the most).

      Now, before you start about Mars, Mars *isn't experiencing warming*. It's exper

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Mars has a might lighter atmosphere and Jupiter has an extremely heavy atmosphere. It is precisely the interaction between the atmosphere and the sun's energy that creates what we call "weather." Venus experiences lots of interesting weather due not only to its atmospheric content, but also due to the energy from the sun. Mars, on the other hand, is significantly less dense and while there should be some measurable effects, the measurements may not be as dramatic. Jupiter, however, has an extremely dens

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Gas giants don't have volcanoes, asshole. (Assholes can, however, have gas giants and/or volcanoes.)

          • by erroneus (253617)

            Are you SURE there is no solid or molten core at the center? The fact that the atmosphere is very dense does nothing to indicate what their core is made of. If you have any evidence or other data to offer to the contrary, I would be happy to read it. But the presumption that a gas giant is highly compressed and cohesive gas only seems... weird.

  • ... for Clearasil.
  • Surely the Jupiterians are burning too much fossil fuels.

  • Leon is getting larger!
  • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:37PM (#27433359)

    Anyone remember Immanuel Velikovsky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worlds_in_Collision

    Could this be just the preliminaries for another Venus ejection event?

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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