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Huge Storms Converge on Jupiter 205

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night dept.
tpoker writes to tell us NASA is reporting that the two biggest storms in the solar system are about to collide on Jupiter. From the article: "Storm #1 is the Great Red Spot, twice as wide as Earth itself, with winds blowing 350 mph. The behemoth has been spinning around Jupiter for hundreds of years. Storm #2 is Oval BA, also known as 'Red Jr.,' a youngster of a storm only six years old. Compared to the Great Red Spot, Red Jr. is half-sized, able to swallow Earth merely once, but it blows just as hard as its older cousin."
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Huge Storms Converge on Jupiter

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  • by w33t (978574) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:57PM (#15485037) Homepage
    I LOVE astronomy. I think it is simply the most profound thing that we have been able to take the eye and stretch it to points beyond imagination. To look out into the cosmos is so humbling and awe-inspiring. Truly if one science has shown us simple magnificent beauty it is astronomy.

    Now having said that I will say that only one thing makes astronomy better - seeing these object in motion! Galaxies and nebula seem so unreal in hubble's photos - it's hard to fully comprehend what exactly they are - what they are really like. But when you view those precious few object we have been able to capture in motion, to me it is exquisite! Somehow, to me, it makes them that much more real, more tangible. And that is truly the dream of the soul - to somehow touch, taste, smell that which is so beautiful :)

    I hope these astronomers string together this phenomenal convergence into a movie!

    Jupiter's storms in motion [spaceflightnow.com]
    Solar flares [nasa.gov]

    Do you have any other cool astronomical movie links?
    --
    Music should be free [w33t.com]
  • Re:WOW! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Makarakalax (658810) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @05:58AM (#15485933) Homepage
    So I'm not alone in finding it sad that slashdot rarely has anything other than unfunny jokes attached to science articles?
  • Re:Collide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VoidEngineer (633446) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @09:02AM (#15486526)
    I agree with you on most all accounts. What I would mention, however, is that meteorologists already do -pretty much exactly what you're describing. Weather simulations for earth effectively have to deal with everything you've just described; from chemical reactions in the atmosphere, to rotation fo the planet, to the awkward boundary conditions due to surface curvature, chaos theory, and the like. And you know what? Meteorologists will readily admit that the problem is mostly unsolvable. And furthermore, they have exactly the same numerical analysis solutions that you've described; and they have to resort to using supercomputers specifically designed to model weather simulations. If one looks at the most commonly investigated computer problems, historically, you pretty much wind up with weather, nuclear bombs, and chess.

    That being said, we enjoy a good 5 days of prediction of weather patterns nowdays. I remember when I was a kid, and the computers weren't nearly as powerful, and we only had 2 or 3 days of prediction. Now we have fairly good predictions for up to 5 to 7 days.

    Sure, initial parameters are different for Earth and Jupiter, although the problem isn't as intractable as you make it out to be. Societally, we have alot of collective experience modeling the types of problems you've described, and it would really only be a matter of modifying the initial parameters of our weather simulations to match those of Jupiter.

    Something which I, for one, expect somebody at NASA to have done already.
  • On all counts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guet (525509) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @10:47AM (#15487205)
    Societally, we have alot of collective experience modeling the types of problems you've described, and it would really only be a matter of modifying the initial parameters of our weather simulations to match those of Jupiter.

    The problem being that Jupiter does not have a constellation of satellites collecting data 24/7 and a huge number of ground-stations recording weather conditions at regular intervals all round its surface.

    Without that data, what would you plug into your simulation, guesses?

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy

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