Jupiter's Red Spot Junior is ready to change colors — turning brick-red yet again

The most recent image of Jupiter taken on August 25 by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured the planet when it was 406 million miles from EarthNASA
  • Jupiter’s Red Spot Junior may be ready to change colors again, according to a new image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • The first time Red Spot Junior was spotted turning red was in 2006, but it has slowly been turning white since then.
  • The new image shows that the storm's core is darkening, which could mean Red Spot Junior is going to turn red again like its older cousin — the Giant Red Spot.
Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot — the most powerful storm in the solar system — has a younger, less noticeable white-colored cousin that may be ready to turn red for a second time.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot and its younger cousin, Red Spot Junior, spotted by NASA's Hubble Space telescope on August 25NASA

A new picture captured by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope shows that the core of Red Spot Junior, officially named Oval BA, may be darkening.

“This could hint that Red Spot Junior is on its way to turning to a color more similar to its cousin once again,” the US-based space agency said in a statement.

The first time Red Spot Junior ‘saw red’
Red Spot Junior is half the size of its cousin and is only 20 years ago. It was formed due to the merging of three white ovals.

These four images of clouds in a portion of Jupiter's southern hemisphere show steps in the consolidation of three "white oval" storms into one over a three-year span of time.NASA

At first, Red Spot Junior continued to remain white. However, in December 2005, researchers noticed that its core was slightly darkening.


Red Spot Junior, or Oval BA, spotted for the first time in 2006NASA

A few weeks down the line, the storm was spotted changing its color entirely as it turned the same red hue as the Giant Red Spot.

However, over the years Red Spot Junior has been fading back to its original white — until now.

Why red?
To be honest, even NASA doesn’t know. Their best guess is that some chemical reaction because of the way the storm operates produces the familiar brick color.

Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot continues to roll counterclockwise across the planet's southern hemisphere and plows into the clouds ahead of it, leaving a cascade of white and beige ribbons in its wake.

Even though the storm has been gradually shrinking since Earth first started to observe it in 1930, it is still big enough to swallow the Earth.

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