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Hubble Space Telescope Watches the Weather on Uranus and Neptune



 Hubble Telescope watches the weather on Uranus and Neptune

The Hubble observations of Uranus and Neptune track the planets' atmospheres.

Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong and A. Hsu (University of California, Berkeley)

If you do not like your local weather, you may prefer the atmosphere on Uranus or Neptune ̵

1; and the Hubble Space Telescope has an update on each planet's current conditions.

The telescope regular checks in the two outer planets to see what's happening in their atmospheres, and last autumn, Hubble captured incredible images of clouds on both worlds.

Uranus is currently deep in its summer season, and that shows in the Giant, white cloud covering the planet's north pole, which currently points toward the sun. As scientists have watched the Uranus summer progress – a season on this remote giant world load 21 Earth years – they have seen this massive cloud grow even bigger. The large polar cap is accompanied by a smaller, bright cloud of methane ice. [Photos of Uranus: The Tilted Planet]

 A Hubble photographer of Uranus taken in November shows the planet's north pole covered by a massive cloud.

A Hubble photographer of Uranus taken in November shows the planet's north pole covered by a massive cloud.

Credit: NASA , ESA, A. Simon (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and M. Wong and A. Hsu (University of California, Berkeley)

On Neptune, where seasons last for 41 Earth years, it's winter in the northern hemisphere.

Scientists are not sure what the phenomenon is creating. Neptune's dark storms, although the tempests are about to split two years. “/>

A Hubble image based on the photographs taken in September and November shows a dark storm on Neptune. “/>

A Hubble image based on taken in September and November shows a dark storm on Neptune.

Credit: NASA, ESA, NASA (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and M. Wong and A. Hsu (University of California, Berkeley)

Nearby the dark storm currently on Neptune, Hubble's spotted another atmospheric feature: sparkling white "companion clouds," which have spotted dark globes in the past.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels . Astronomers suspect that these bright clouds are full of methane ice. Follow us @ Spacedotcom and Facebook. Original article on Space.com.


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