622px-Jupiter by Cassini-Huygens

The atmosphere of Jupiter is the largest planetary atmosphere of any other planet in the Solar System. This atmosphere contains numerous storms, such as the Great Red Spot, and the Oval BA, which was discovered in the year 2000. Small amounts of methane and molecular hydrogen have been spotted in the atmosphere.

Storms are common in the atmosphere due to the amount of condensation and precipitation in the atmosphere, leading to the formation of dense clouds. However, there are fewer storms on Jupiter than there are on Earth, with lightning amounts similar to that on Earth.

Present in the atmosphere are the mysterious hot spots, the Great Red Spot, and the recently discovered Oval BA, also known as Red Jr.

The Great Red SpotEdit

633px-Great Red Spot From Voyager 1

The Great Red Spot, also known as GRS, is an anticyclonic storm, or storm that rotates the same direction as a storm at a point of low pressure, located in the atmosphere of Jupiter. GRS was discovered along with the planet of Jupiter by Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist, astronomer, and mathematician. The storm is 2.5 times the size of the Earth, and is clearly visible from the planet Earth. The longitudinal expansion, or the expansion of an atmospheric disturbance from the northern and southern cardinal directions, is constantly increasing. It is estimated by 2040 that the Great Red Spot can become circular or nearly circular.

The color of GRS is red, along with Oval BA. The reason for the reddish-hue of the Great Red Spot is unknown, but it is believed to be from a sulfur compound such as red phosphorous. The color can vary from brick red to even white. The redder parts are warmer than the other atmospheric air currents, which supports the theory that the color is caused by environmental effects.

Oval BAEdit


Oval BA is located in the lower left section of the picture.

Oval BA, also known as Red Spot Jr., The Little Red Spot, or Red Jr., is the offical name for a storm located in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter's atmosphere. It was formed by three large ovals that collided together and formed this storm. Photos from 1998 prove that at one time, the ovals were discrete storms and collided together completely in the year of 2000. It is nearly three times smaller than the Great Red Spot.

Hot SpotsEdit

Hot spots are the mysterious warm air currents in the atmosphere of Jupiter. South Tropical Disturbances (STD) are long-lived darkening warm air currents that occur in the atmosphere during high and low pressure storms. The longest recorded hot spot was discovered by Percy B. Molesworth on February 28, 1901. It lasted from 1901 to 1939.