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Jupiter's Great Red Spot May Be Slowly Dissipating

Something has been stirring on Jupiter's surface and everyone is paying close attention. The Great Red Spot might be at the end of its rope and it could soon be dissipating amidst the swirling vortex of the atmosphere. 

The huge red storm has been a distinctive feature of the gaseous giant for centuries. If it were to disappear soon, perhaps now is the time for us to behold it one last time.

Jupiter reaches what is called opposition on June 10th when it will be directly, well, opposite the Sun. This coincides with the planet's closest approach to Earth, called the perigee. 
Anyone with a small telescope should be able to see the planet but, if you want to get a good look at the Great Red Spot, experts recommend a moderate 6-inch telescope or larger. We may not have many more chances.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL)


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I have read several times that the Great Red Spot is actually the Jovian equivalent of a hurricane. No storm lasts forever. Future generations may have to bone up on why old pictures of Jupiter had that big red blotch. If the GRS does disappear, though, maybe another spot will appear someday.
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