Look at this colossal storm on Uranus

Space										
		
																	What is this weird stuff all over Uranus?					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner			@MikeWehner					Februar

The photograph above was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in September.

On Neptune, a dark storm 6,800 miles wide is now swirling around in the planet's northern hemisphere-one of four observed by NASA's Hubble since 1993.

The space agency also spotted a new storm brewing on Neptune.

"These images are part of a scrapbook of Hubble snapshots of Neptune and Uranus that track the weather patterns over time on these distant, cold planets", NASA said.

Voyager 2, for example, has observed two massive storms forming up on Neptune in 1989, while NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, which is has been following Neptune from time to time since 1993, also spotted three such hurricanes similar to the recently observed mysterious dark vortex on Neptune.

According to NASA, the "mysterious dark vortex" is a storm that is a result of the ice giant's southern summer.

The large white cap strewn over the north pole of Uranus is particularly dramatic.

However, even though these massive storms are not rare on Neptune, NASA has no clue why and how these dark vortices form in the methane-rich atmosphere of the fourth-largest planet in our solar system. Scientists think this near constant exposure of the northern pole creates atmospheric conditions ripe for enormous polar storms like the one Hubble captured in November 2018. They are similar to clouds that appear as pancake-shaped features when air is pushed over mountains on Earth. The cap, which may form due to seasonal changes in atmospheric flow, has become much more prominent than in previous observations dating back to the flyby of NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, when the planet, in the throes of winter, looked bland. That hemisphere is now sporting a massive dark storm that stretches about 6,800 miles (11,000 kilometers) across.

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The causes of these dark spots is a mystery, but because they're only seen at the bluest wavelengths, "my money is on some sort of coloration of the clouds", said Irwin.

Like Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the dark vortices swirl in an anti-cyclonic direction and seem to dredge up material from deeper levels in the ice giant's atmosphere. "Unlike every other planet in the solar system", NASA explained.

This image, taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), reveals a vast bright stormy cloud cap across the north pole of Uranus.

"Scientists believe this new feature is a result of Uranus' unique rotation". Whereas Earth's worst storms typically last no more than days or weeks, Neptune's newest dark vortex is expected to last years.

'Because of this extreme tilt, during the planet's summer the Sun shines nearly directly onto the north pole and never sets. But as time progressed, a reflective band-whitish against Uranus' blue hues-began to appear encircling the north pole.

At the edge of the storm is a compact methane-ice cloud.

Like Neptune, Uranus is extremely far away.

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