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Hubble depicts the newly formed smog cap on Uranus

Hubble depicts the newly formed smog cap on Uranus

© NASA, ESA, STScI, Amy Simon (NASA-GSFC), Michael H. Wong (UC Berkeley) Image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI))

the Hubble Space Telescope He looks not only into the depths of the universe, but also in our neighborhood. New recordings from Uranus And Jupiter Now reveal more about the weather conditions on the planets in our solar system.

Icy smog on Uranus

The weather on the outer planets of the solar system is not as changeable as it is on Earth. However, the researchers see changes in direct comparison of the new and old images. Thus, when comparing the image of Uranus from 2014 with new from 2022 icy one fume hood identify.

Receives the ice giant 400 times Less solar radiation than Earth. One doubts the clouds water And methane on the planet. Icy smog is on Northern Hemisphere from the planet. The white hood isPhotochemical hazeSo writes Space Telescope Science Institute. This with one Smog bell It is comparable to what happens in the major cities on earth.

42 years without sunlight

It is difficult for researchers to study the formation and evolution of Uranus weather. Classes continue there even 20 yearsThe next summer solstice occurs 2028 instead of. A year on Uranus lasts 87 Earth years. This limits the amount of data that researchers can access.

Because only one Uranus around it 8 degrees tilted axis, there are regions on the planet up to 42 years old They coexist without sunlight. Voyager pictures from the eighties Turns out, the south pole was pointing almost directly at the sun at that time. In the new images, the North Pole is tilted toward the sun.

Voyager 2 photographed the southern hemisphere of Uranus in 1986

The Great Red Spot is shrinking

In addition to Uranus, Hubble also looked at the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. The researchers paid special attention to fame big red spot gas giant. It consists of a huge storm.

In the new image, the Great Red Spot is smaller than it has been in recent years 150 years old since the beginning of the measurements. Despite this, it is still twice the size of Earth and reaches its speed 430 to 680 km / h.

“Vortex Street” could produce a new giant storm

When the famous Great Red Spot weakens, a new storm can form. Researchers have named a series of prominent northern-latitude storms “Vortex StreetThey form a wave pattern of interconnected tornadoes and anticyclones. Like gears, they move clockwise and counterclockwise.

On the left is the “Vortex Street” and the moon Io casting a shadow over the planet. On the right is the shrinking Great Red Spot

Researchers believe that the storms could unite into a storm that could be at least as large as the Great Red Spot. However, it is very unlikely that the storm will actually form.

Hubble has been observing Jupiter ever since The nineties. Scientists have only been able to show that Vortex Street has been forming in the past few years 10 years watching.

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