Science: Explaining a Jovian Mystery

Ever since they discovered it three centuries ago, astronomers have been baffled by Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The larger-than-earth-sized blemish, which drifts mysteriously across the face of the solar system's biggest planet, sometimes covers an area 8,000 miles wide and 30,000 miles long. Occasionally it grows noticeably brighter; at other times it almost vanishes. Other than to speculate that the spot is caused by an unusual deviation in the planet's magnetic field or a physical irregularity somewhere below its atmosphere, scientists have long been at a loss to explain either the nature of...

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