Great Red Spot

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Great Red Spot

An oval feature in the visible cloud surface of Jupiter, at latitude 20 to 25 degrees S. It is about 25,000 miles long in the planet's east-west direction, and about 7000 miles wide in the north-south direction. It is often reddish in color, but may be white or grey, or nearly invisible compared to its surroundings. See South Tropical Disturbance. </dd>
The neighboring cloud matter seems to pass around it on the northern side, producing the so-called Red Spot Hollow, by which it may be detected even when the spot itself is invisible. Its rotation period averages 9 hours, 55 minutes, 38 seconds (very nearly the same as the rest of the planet), but varies enough so that through the years since its discovery in 1878 it has made more than one complete revolution with respect to the underlying planet. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use