2022 events

Sat 23rd 09:45-10:30

Fifty Years of Observations of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Barry Adcock and Stewart Beveridge


In concert with the centenary year of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, the lunar and Planetary Section has conducted, collected, and processed observations of the bodies of the solar system for over fifty years. A major focus of interest has been the planet Jupiter but rather than briefly present all the observations over that period we would like to detail our observations of the Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is well known to a wide section of the community and the slow decrease in size of the spot has created a concentration of public interest. The size of the Great Red Spot has decreased at an irregular rate, but its longitude has also wandered with respect to the known rotation periods. The turbulence surrounding the spot highlights the complexity of the atmospheric currents in that region. During the past fifty years our observational techniques have altered dramatically. We present a summary of the fifty years of data pertaining to the size and movement of the Great Red Spot and a summary of the observational methods used during that period.