Scientists for the first time in history observe the formation of a storm on Neptune

The red spot of Jupiter is the largest of all known storms in the Solar system. It is the “highlight” of the planet and gives it awareness. The same storms also occur in other space objects, but the duration of their life is much shorter — for example, they often form on Neptune. For the first time mankind learned of their existence in 1989, in the framework of the mission, “Voyager 2”, but until now, astronomers could not trace the course of their education. Now, thanks to the pictures of telescope “Hubble”, it finally happened.

Планета Нептун

One of the last storms of Neptune was discovered in September 2018. The size of dark spots was 11,000 miles long and 5,000 kilometers in width. For some time NASA astronomers could not follow her because of the failure of Hubble, but after repairs they were able for 20 hours to observe the movement of the storms at the speed of 972 kilometers per hour.

Learn how storms are formed on Neptune, was possible thanks to the comparison of photographs taken at different times — good space Observatory have made their 2015. Initially the dark spots were not there to be seen, and in its place hovered a few small clouds of white. Scientists have suggested that they are made of methane ice crystals, and floated at a fairly high altitude.

From this conclusion it followed that a tornado is formed at a much lower layers of the atmosphere, and clouds only indicate the beginning of their formation. According to the calculations of NASA, storms on Neptune are formed at intervals from four to six years. However, their average duration of life is two years and maximum six years. Computer simulations showed that the Hubble is capable of detecting up to 70% of dark spots with the annual duration of life, and 95% in two years.

The study of the Neptune will allow to understand the processes that occur on extrasolar planets, which by size is very similar to the ice giants. According to planetary scientist Amy Simon, at the moment, humanity is very little information about Neptune, and his study is the beginning of understanding of distant planets.

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