Scientists have used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe Neptune, one of the gas giants, which are the least known planets in the solar system. They discovered new storms in its atmosphere.
This message fired their imaginations to the point that they called on NASA and the United States government to organize a mission to this planet. Neptune, although very distant from the Sun, like Earth, experiences the changes of the seasons. However, unlike our planet, they last much longer there and are much more violent. We have known about strange, dark storms on Neptune for a long time, because the Voyager-2 probe showed them to us for the first time in the 1980s. However, we were not aware that in the meantime another fourth and fifth appeared there.
Observations since 1993 have shown us that these vortices appeared regularly over 4 to 6 years at different latitudes and existed for about 2 years. The most recent storm has existed on Neptune since at least 2018 and had a diameter of 10,000 kilometers. There were three more light storms in its vicinity.
They are created as a result of the air flow, which is disturbed and heads towards the upper part of the vortex. The gases crystallize into methane ice crystals. It is white. Similar phenomena appear on Earth when air flows through the mountains. Neptune, however, does not have a rocky surface, so the phenomenon is slightly different. The smaller white clouds are transition formations.
Meanwhile, analyzes of the images of dark vortices showed that they rotate counterclockwise, and their dark color is most likely the result of gases from inside the planet being sucked in and drawn into the upper atmosphere. Astronomers believe that the white vortices signal the appearance of the dark ones.
In August this year, Hubble detected the storm's movement. For a year it had been heading towards the equator and now back to the Pole. The big surprise for scientists is that in the meantime it has split into two parts. Now we can see two black spots in the atmosphere. The larger storm has a diameter of approximately 7,300 kilometers and the smaller 6,200 kilometers.
The latest measurements, based on data obtained from the Voyager spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope, revealed that the winds blowing through the Great Dark Spot can reach speeds of 360 km / h, roughly the same as Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot. Scientists hope that more frequent Hubble observations filmfunbox allow them to learn more about these fascinating spots.
This is very important if we want to better study alien worlds, especially those exoplanets that are quite close to our planet, and there are indications that they may have the right conditions for biological life to exist there. If we get to know the planets of the solar system better, it will also be easier for us to look for those most suitable for the flowering of life that we know from our planet.
Interestingly, it was only a few months ago that it was discovered that in Neptune's atmosphere there are frozen mixtures of water and ammonia that make up a poorly studied compound, namely ammonia hemihydrate. NASA intends to send research missions to Neptune and Uranus. Probes will be placed in their orbits that will allow us to discover the secrets of these unusual planets that are the least studied by humanity.