Why hasn’t Jupiter’s Great Red Spot disappeared?
From scientist’s understanding of fluid dynamics, Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot should have disappeared many centuries ago. It has been losing energy by radiating heat and experiences much turbulence which drains the energy of the spot’s winds. So why has it survived for so long?
Pedram Hassanzadeh who is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Philip Marcus, a professor of fluid dynamics at the University of California have built their own model to try and explain why, and according to their research, the secret lies in the vertical motion of the Red Spot: ”As the vortex loses energy, the vertical flow transports hot gases from above and cold gases from below the vortex toward its center, restoring part of its lost energy.” (phys.org, 13th Nov 2013)
Both scientists are aware that their model is not complete and cannot completely explain the life of the spot however "they believe the occasional absorption of smaller vortices, consistent with observation, may provide the extra energy needed for hundreds of years of life. They have begun modifying their computer model to test this thesis.” (phys.org, 13th Nov 2013)
Read the full article here on the phys.org website