Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction, Possibly Shedding a Fragment… Photo of the week

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a mysterious dark vortex on Neptune abruptly steer away from a likely death on the giant blue planet.

Picture of the week

This Hubble Space Telescope snapshot of the dynamic blue-green planet Neptune reveals a monstrous dark storm (top center) and the emergence of a smaller dark spot nearby (top right). The giant vortex, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was traveling south toward certain doom by atmospheric forces at the equator when it suddenly made a U-turn and began drifting back northward.
Credits: NASA, ESA, STScI, M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and L.A. Sromovsky and P.M. Fry (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The storm, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was born in the planet’s northern hemisphere and discovered by Hubble in 2018. Observations a year later showed that it began drifting southward toward the equator, where such storms are expected to vanish from sight. To the surprise of observers, Hubble spotted the vortex change direction by August 2020, doubling back to the north. Though Hubble has tracked similar dark spots over the past 30 years, this unpredictable atmospheric behavior is something new to see… More about the story in the link below…

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/dark-storm-on-neptune-reverses-direction-possibly-shedding-a-fragment

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