The leaders of the Hubble telescope's mission were able to trace the appearance of a powerful storm in Neptune's atmosphere. Thanks to the telescope's camera, scientists saw changes in the Great Dark Spot – a hurricane on Neptune, which was first noticed in 1989.
The hurricane has seen the Voyager 2 space probe. At the same time, scientists have determined that the hurricane is moving at supersonic speeds (2,400 km / h), and its size is 13,000 kilometers long.
After some time, it dissipated and new hurricanes appeared on the planet. In September 2018, in the northern hemisphere of Neptune, the Hubble orbiting telescope found a new sixth dark point of the anticyclone.
It has been discovered that the hurricane is gaining speed of almost 1000 km / h. Watching this cyclone, astronomers discovered how a storm was born in the cool, dense atmosphere of Neptune.
Recently, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Berkeley, Michael Wong and his colleagues launched the OPAL program, in which scientists observe the atmospheres of the outer planets of the solar system, beginning with Jupiter.
We analyzed the images of Neptune 2015 and 2017. It turned out that these photos do not yet have a dark spot, as in 2018, – the scientists explained.
On the left is the dark spot of Neptune on the Hubble Telescope, 2018. Law – 1989 photo
By 2018, there were several small sparkling white clouds on the site. Astronomers suggest that frozen methane crystals, created by an anticyclone from the lower layers of the atmosphere, manifest themselves in this way.
This is how Neptune forms hurricanes. According to preliminary calculations, they appear on the planet approximately every four or six years and continue to exist on average for about two years.