Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Go down

Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Post by Dragon on Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:23 pm

Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm – once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal – is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Immense dark storms on Neptune were first discovered in the late 1980s by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft. Since then, only Hubble has had the sharpness in blue light to track these elusive features that have played a game of peek-a-boo over the years. Hubble found two dark storms that appeared in the mid-1990s and then vanished. This latest storm was first seen in 2015, but is now shrinking.

Continued...
Source
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 1437
Points : 2442
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Post by Dragon on Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:25 pm


Credits: NASA, ESA, and M.H. Wong and A.I. Hsu (UC Berkeley)

This series of Hubble Space Telescope images taken over 2 years tracks the demise of a giant dark vortex on the planet Neptune. The oval-shaped spot has shrunk from 3,100 miles across its long axis to 2,300 miles across, over the Hubble observation period.

Continued...
Source

 
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 1437
Points : 2442
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Post by Dragon on Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:26 pm



For the first time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured time-lapse images of a large, dark storm on Neptune shrinking out of existence. A recent Hubble program called Outer Planets Atmosphere Legacy, or OPAL, provides yearly global maps of our gas giant planets, allowing planetary scientists to view changes in formations such as Neptune's dark storms.

 
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 1437
Points : 2442
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Post by Dragon on Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:27 pm



near-Earth-sized storm system was detected near the equator of Neptune, surprising scientists because no bright clouds have ever been seen there. The storm is about 9,000 kilometers long, about three-quarters of the Earth's diameter, and is even enormous compared to the size of Neptune: it extends almost 30 degrees in length and latitude. When astronomers studied the storm between June 26 and July 2, it seemed to be brighter. Seeing such a bright storm in such a low latitude is extremely surprising.

Normally this area is very quiet and we only see bright clouds in the middle latitudes bands, so having such a huge cloud sitting right on the equator is spectacular. Because telescope time is competitive, opportunities to observe giant gas planets are rare. This means that professional astronomers may have to wait months or years between observations. Fans, however, can supplement some of the observations as the telescope and imaging technology improves. Neptune's storms have been captured by other professional observatories in the past. Voyager 2 saw a big dark spot in 1989, which disappeared by the time the Hubble Space Telescope examined the planet in 1994.

 
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 1437
Points : 2442
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Hubble Sees Neptune's Mysterious Shrinking Storm

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum