Home Features Best of 2012 Best of 2012 // #78: Uranus has some rough weather

Best of 2012 // #78: Uranus has some rough weather

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Best of 2012 // #78: Uranus has some rough weather
W.M. Keck Observatory / NASA / L.A. Sromovsky / P.M. Fry / University of Wisconsin-Madison / I. De Pater / University of California at Berkeley / H.B. Hammel / Aura

When Voyager 2 flew past Uranus in 1986, the seventh planet in our solar system appeared bleak, featureless and wrapped in blue-green clouds.  New images captured by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have revealed a very different planet, full of storms and wild weather.

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The images were captured in false-color infrared and show a chilly planet.

These are some of the most detailed images of Uranus ever taken.  The images have also raised questions with Astronomers, who note the strange scalloped bands of low cloud and small storms that dot the norther polar area.  More observations by the Keck observatory should help shed some more light on why weather on Uranus is as active as it is, when the planet received only 1/900th the sunlight as we do on Earth.

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