Space Telescope Spots Uranus Spring Storm
The atmosphere of Uranus is also anything but calm, as a view through the Hubble Space Telescope now confirms. For the first time, NASA's planetary watchers clearly recognized a dark patch resulting from a seasonal storm in the gas giant's clouds in images from August.
The storm area on the second outermost planet in our solar system covers an area of 1700 by 3000 kilometers, the researchers from the University of Wisconsin calculated. Despite best efforts since 1994, Hubble has never been able to see or confirm such storms, although dark spots had been documented on Uranus observation logs dating back to the 1900s.
Lately, however, observers have been seeing more and more signs of increased activity in Uranus' atmosphere. Probably these are signs of the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere of the planet. The spot actually appeared on a spot on the side of the planet that is bathing in sunlight again for the first time after long years in shadow. The astronomers are now eagerly awaiting further developments in the change of seasons. Their theory: The sunnier Uranus, the more Neptune-like its appearance.