English astronmer Robert Hooke first reported seeing a large oval spot on Jupiter in 1664. The spot is now known to be an enormous storm (two Earths would fit inside it), somewhat like a terrestrial hurricane but with a lifetime that exceeds three centuries! Voyager 1 took this photograph of the Great Red Spot in March 1979, only a few days before the spacecraft made its closest approach to the planet. The clouds within the spot rotate with a period of about 6 days while the spot itself, along with the rest of the clouds, makes one rotation around Jupiter in a little under 10 hours. The smaller white spot is another storm system that, for some reason, lacks the distinctive coloring agent present in the Great Red Spot. The clouds in the wake of both spots show a turbulent pattern similar to that seen in a flowing stream behind a solid obstacle.
Voyager 1 image (Press Release P-21182).