Jupiter’s third giant red storm has been chewed up by a collision with the planet’s other two red spots and does not appear to have survived.
Astronomers are still scrambling to capture pictures of the aftermath, but it appears Jupiter’s third spot was torn up last week when it squeezed between its larger cousins, the Great Red Spot and Red Spot Junior. The third spot first appeared earlier this year when a white storm turned scarlet.
While some traces of clumpy red material remain, “it’s not really a spot any more”, Glenn Orton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US, said on Wednesday. “It’s just sort of scrambled. It’s a blob.”
“The LRS [Little Red Spot] is really gone,” Christopher Go, an amateur astronomer in Cebu, the Philippines, told New Scientist on Thursday.
Amateur astronomers broke the news of the spot’s stormy dismemberment online – ns