Deadliest Space Weather – With winds reaching a speed of 400 miles per hour, Jupiter’s hurricane has carried on for at least 300 years, and state-of-the-art technology gives viewers a rare and in-depth look into the solar system’s biggest storm on the planet. The Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter, 22° south of the equator, which has lasted for at least 186 years and possibly as long as 351 years or more. Storms such as this are not uncommon within the turbulent atmospheres of gas giants. Before the Voyager missions, astronomers were highly uncertain of the Red Spot’s nature. Many believed it to be a solid or liquid feature on Jupiter’s surface.
The Great Red Spot (GRS) appears at first to be remarkably stable, and most sources concur that it has been continuously observed for 300 years. However, the situation is more complex than that; the present spot was first seen only after 1830 and well-studied only after a prominent apparition in 1879. A long gap separates its period of current study after 1830 from its seventeenth-century discovery; whether the original spot dissipated and re-formed, whether it faded, or even if the observational record was simply poor, are all unknown.