Jupiter's Great Red Spot, which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2 in 1979

Jupiter's Great Red Spot, which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2 in 1979

A cylindrical projection of Jupiter stitched together from photos taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its December 2000 flyby of the planet.

A cylindrical projection of Jupiter stitched together from photos taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its December 2000 flyby of the planet.

Hubble image of the scar left on Jupiter's surface in July of 2009 by a half-kilometer dia...

Hubble image of the scar left on Jupiter's surface in July of 2009 by a half-kilometer dia...

A cylindrical projection of Jupiter's surface from the "Journey to Jupiter" project led by Peter Rosén in Stockholm. Rosén's team combined more than 1,000 high-resolution photos of Jupiter taken over the course of 102 days to create a time-lapse video.

A cylindrical projection of Jupiter's surface from the "Journey to Jupiter" project led by Peter Rosén in Stockholm. Rosén's team combined more than 1,000 high-resolution photos of Jupiter taken over the course of 102 days to create a time-lapse video.

The mystery of why Jupiter's Great Red Spot did not vanish centuries ago may now be solved, and the findings could help reveal more clues about the vortices in Earth's oceans and the nurseries of stars and planets, researchers say.  The Great Red Spot is the most noticeable feature on Jupiter's surface — a storm about 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) long and 7,500 miles (12,000 km) wide, about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h).

The mystery of why Jupiter's Great Red Spot did not vanish centuries ago may now be solved, and the findings could help reveal more clues about the vortices in Earth's oceans and the nurseries of stars and planets, researchers say. The Great Red Spot is the most noticeable feature on Jupiter's surface — a storm about 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) long and 7,500 miles (12,000 km) wide, about two to three times larger than Earth. Winds at its oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h).

Jupiter's Surface by  Chesley Bonestell - Signed - 1949 - from Barry R. Levin Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, ABAA and Biblio.com

Jupiter's Surface by Chesley Bonestell - Signed - 1949 - from Barry R. Levin Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, ABAA and Biblio.com

Like the sun, Jupiter is composed predominantly of hydrogen & helium. But unlike the sun, it lacks the necessary amount to begin fusion, the process that fuels a star. Jupiter would need to be 75-80 times more massive than it is at present to be considered a star. If all of the planets in the solar system had formed as part of the gas giant, it still would not have sufficient mass. Still, by itself, Jupiter is 2 & 1/2 times larger than all of the other planets in the solar system combined.

Like the sun, Jupiter is composed predominantly of hydrogen & helium. But unlike the sun, it lacks the necessary amount to begin fusion, the process that fuels a star. Jupiter would need to be 75-80 times more massive than it is at present to be considered a star. If all of the planets in the solar system had formed as part of the gas giant, it still would not have sufficient mass. Still, by itself, Jupiter is 2 & 1/2 times larger than all of the other planets in the solar system combined.

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