NASA, ESA, and J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has a cooler cousin

Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot gets all the attention, but now, astronomers are starting to take notice of its cooler cousin, the aptly named Great Cold Spot, Science News reports. And with a no-nonsense name like that, perhaps it is no surprise that signs of the chilly spot were first observed by the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Scientists suspect that energetic particles from Jupiter’s moon Io fling into the planet’s upper atmosphere, creating auroras that may then lead to vortices that produce localized cooling. The research, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the frigid vortex has been swirling around Jupiter for at least the past 15 years. 

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