A massive dark storm over Neptune that was first seen two years ago has suddenly turned north, leaving experts unanswered.
The storm was discovered in 2018 by the Hubble Space Telescope, where it was spotted over the planet’s northern hemisphere. In 2019, it was seen moving towards the southern hemisphere of the planet, but in August 2020, it started moving north again, unlike other black spots that have been seen on the ice giant in the past. Another small, dark spot was also seen, believed to be part of a larger storm that broke out into a separate storm.
Michael H. of the University of California at Berkeley “We are excited about these comments because this small piece is a potential part of the dark-spot disintegration process,” Wong said in a statement. “This is a process that has never been seen. We have seen some other black spots fade away and gone, but we have never seen anything disrupted, even if it was predicted in computer simulations. “
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NASA first flew with Neptune with the Vyjar 2 spacecraft in 1989 and took two deep spot images. It was not until 1994 that it was regularly seen by Hubble. Since then, space telescopes have seen the “Great Dark Spot” as well as other black spots on the planet.
The dark storm under consideration is believed to be over 4,600 miles and is the fourth observed since 1993 on Neptune. Unlike hurricanes on Earth, which are low pressure and spin counterclockwise, these storms rotate clockwise and are high pressure systems. But as they move toward the equator, they are affected by the Coriolis effect, which weakens them, eventually disintegrating once they reach the “so-called zone zone”. It was not a special storm.
Jong said, “It was exciting to see this one act, like it is acting and then suddenly it stops and swings.” “It was surprising.”
Wang believed that the small storm, which is 3,900 miles away, was the result of a major storm being disrupted, but not the one that is causing it.
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“I didn’t think another vortex was forming because the smaller one is further towards the equator,” the researcher explained. “So it is within this unstable region. But we cannot prove that the two are related. It remains a complete mystery.”
Neptune is still relatively unexplored, as is Uranus, even with photo snapping of both planets in 1986 and 1989.
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In August, researchers developed computer models that suggest that both planets are “predominantly” with a strange form of water.
In March 2019, scientists at NASA JPL proposed a mission that would detect Neptune’s largest moon, the Triton, which some have theorized may be an ocean hidden beneath the surface.