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THE STORM OF FOUR CENTURIES
BOOK OF POSSIBILITIES

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book of possibilitesTHE STORM OF FOUR CENTURIES
BOOK OF POSSIBILITIES

by Jen Frankel

The Book of Possibilities is about the wonders of the world we live in. Come explore it with me!

In 1959, Hurricane Vera hit the Japanese island of Honshu, killing 4580 people and doing over $261 million dollars in damage.

Bad as it was, you can hardly begin to compare it to the Bangladesh cyclone of 1970, which took at least 300,000 lives, or the Tsunami at the confirmed cost of around 170,000 and nearly that number again missing.

But the most enormous and powerful storm in our solar system has been seething for at least 400 years, and possibly a lot longer.

It's maybe better known at the Great Red Spot, on the surface of the distant gas giant, Jupiter.

It's probably appropriate that Jupiter is named after the Roman king of gods, Greek Zeus's counterpart, and the father of the god of war, Mars.

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, fifth from the sun, and separated from us by Mars and the belt of asteroids that divides the inner from outer planets.

And man, is he a big boy. At 2.5 times more massive than all the other planets combined, it volume about the equivalent of 1317 Earths. Because it is composed mostly of gasses, though, its mass is only 318 times greater.

Still, nothing to sneeze at.

Neither is the Great Red Spot, first noted by astronomers as a blotch or bruise on the planet's surface in the 17th century.

The Spot is actually an enormous storm, spinning like a hurricane in Jupiter's dense atmosphere. It is composed of bitterly cold gasses swirling in a counterclockwise direction, and measures around 15,400 miles in diametre.

It's also twice as large as the planet Earth.

So the next time you have to drive home through a snowstorm, remember: it could be a lot worse.

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