NASA takes closest ever pictures of Jupiter's great red spot

New pictures of Saturn are helping scientists learn more about the planet, the famous red spot (a large hurricane) and more.

MINNEAPOLIS - In our Solar System, Mars is know for its red rusty color, Saturn is know for its beautiful rings and its great red spot, actually a storm, discovered by an English scientist back in the 1600s.

The storm's shape, and movement are similar to a hurricane here on earth.  Except for the winds- NASA estimates them at about 380 miles per hour.

A recent flyby with NASA's Juno spacecraft was the closest yet that we've ever been to the great red spot which is about 5,600 miles away. That's the same distance as taking a direct trip from Minnesota to the the southern tip of South America.

The new pictures are giving us an amazing view of the 10,000 mile wide storm which is big enough to swallow the earth, but the storm is changing.

"It is shrinking in size. It's becoming more rounded and less oval in shape, changes in color, so this hurricane is changing, decreasing is some ways and other little hurricanes are cropping up." said Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, NASA scientist.

Astronomers believe that Jupiter may have been the first planet to form in our solar system, by learning more about Jupiter we can learn more about the origins of our solar system and how life begins.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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