Telescope “Hubble” showed incredible weather of Uranus and Neptune

As on Earth, Uranus and Neptune have a change of seasons, which is believed to the planetary community, identifies some characteristics of their atmosphere. However, the seasons on these planets lasts much longer than on Earth, stretching for decades. Space telescope of NASA “Hubble” during the regular observations of these gas giants snapped a few pictures, which clearly observed very interesting atmospheric phenomena. Neptune (to the right in the photo above) – the mysterious dark storm, whose causes are still unclear, the Uranium (left photo) – a huge hurricane.

Currently, the Northern hemisphere of Neptune mysterious dark raging storm. Usually it starts when the southern hemisphere is the summer season. Observations “Hubble” for this mysterious phenomenon since 1993, became the fourth. Image of the first two dark storms of Neptune were obtained interplanetary probe “Voyager 2” in 1989, when the craft flew by the planet. Hubble is currently the only sufficiently sensitive telescope that can see the weather conditions on Neptune.

According to scientists from the University of California at Berkeley, darkening of the atmosphere on the planet occur every 4-6 years at different altitudes and disappear at intervals of about 2 years. The last such storm in the Northern hemisphere of the planet Hubble discovered in September 2018. Its diameter was about 11 000 kilometres.

On the received photos on the right side a dark storm is clearly observed bright white “side of the cloud.” The telescope “Hubble” observed the same formations during previous storms. According to astronomers at NASA, these clouds are formed when the air flows surrounding space is diverted upward along the dark vortex, which causes the solidification of particles contained in them methane. The researchers note that these clouds (not from methane) may appear on the Ground. They are called lenticular. Our planet is a rare phenomenon, often observed over the mountains, which is another mystery to researchers, because Neptune has no solid surface. A long, thin cloud in the left part of a dark storm is a temporary atmospheric education, not related to this storm system, it is noted on the Agency’s website, NASA.

Causes of a dark storm in Neptune’s atmosphere, scientists are not yet known, but, like the Great Red Spot of Jupiter (the largest atmospheric vortex in the Solar system), the dark vortex of Neptune rotates counterclockwise (creating an area of anticyclone) and, apparently, raises up the lower atmospheric layers of the planet.

Data for 2016 received “Hubble” in the course of observing the planet, indicate that the appearance of the vortex of Neptune was preceded by a greater increase of cloudiness in the region where now there is a storm. These data speak in favor of the fact that the vortex is likely much deeper in the atmosphere of Neptune and becomes visible only after its tip reaches the higher atmosphere of the planet.

Astronomers believe that the cause of the storm on Uranus, which a white cap was closed and the North pole ice giant is a unique spin of the cosmic body.

Unlike any other planet in the Solar system, Uranus is tilted almost on its side. Because of this tilt, during the summer the Sun shines almost directly at the North pole and never sets. Uranus is now close to the middle of the summer season, and the area of the polar caps becomes more noticeable. This polar cap could be formed as a result of seasonal changes in the atmospheric flow.

Observation and analysis of weather phenomena in the atmospheres of these planets will help scientists to better understand the differences and similar characteristics of the atmospheres of other planets in the Solar system, including earth.

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