Tuesday , August 9 2022

Dark Vortex For Neptune Received For The Right First Time


At the end of last year, astronomers discovered the sixth known dark vortex on Neptune. This time, however, scientists were able to chronic the formation of this bitter storm over a number of years, offering new insights into these enigmatic and ephemeral weather features.

The latest discovery of Neptune's dark vortex, and the emergence of a dramatic white cap on Uranus, was published earlier this year. The findings were made possible by the External Planet Atmospheric Legacy program (OPAL), the Hubble long-term program to map annual changes to the two ice giants.

Two new research papers published today in Geophysical Research Letters Astronomical Journal contributes to our understanding of the new face feature on Neptune, including fresh insights into how these dark spots are, the frequency of their appearance, and how long they last.

The new dark vortex on Neptune was found in Hubble data collected during autumn 2018. This is the biggest storm to appear on the planet since the Voyager 2 system returned in 1989. This is the sixth place. The ice has now seen dark. Giant, two of them have been found by the NASA probe, and four by Hubble.

The new dark space is almost the same size as the large one seen in 1989, roughly the size of the Earth.

Although dramatically, the surface features of this are not very long, clearing after several years. This is very different from the Great Red Spot on Jupiter – a huge storm that has been growing up for over a century.

But like the Great Red Spot, the dark traps on Neptune come into the spot in areas of high pressure, while storms on Earth form in low pressure areas.

As the two new studies point out, this is the first time scientists have noticed the formation of a dark vortex on Neptune. Amy Simon, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, who led the OPAL mission, along with Michael Wong and Andrew Hsu from the University of California Berkeley, studied Hubble's images of Neptune's previous dark fortune, which came to the fore; In 2015, when they noticed, bright clouds in the area where 2018 would eventually appear. This came as a surprise to the team as they didn't expect to see a new dark vortex so soon.

“The previous dark spots were discovered in full, with no observations to compare with before discovery,” said Simon Gizmodo.

“In this case, we have several years of Hubble data from the front. Tracking back, we can see suggestions of high clouds in that area in those earlier years. ”

When writing in the new Geophysical Research Letters paper, Simon and his colleagues said that the related clouds appeared in the same location about two years before the new dark space came to the fore – an important idea. suggesting that the storms originate much deeper within the atmosphere of the planet than is usually assumed.

“Not all high clouds show a new storm, of course, but this tells us that something is disturbing the atmosphere before we can see a new storm,” he said. “These high clouds are thought to be clouds forming as air rises up over a mountain.” T

The white clouds contain methane ice crystals, giving them their unique bright white color. These methane clouds were seen from the brightest in 2016 and 2017. Using computer models, Simon and his colleagues found that as the depth of the storm increased, so did the brightness of the companion clouds. These storms are only suddenly rising up overnight.

Instead, the formation process takes several years, according to the new research. The “drift rate and history of the formation of the dark vortex shows a deep origin,” the authors wrote in the new study.

The researchers estimate that wind speed is nearly four times as strong at the base of the dark mire as they are on the surface. The winds are deep moving at 100 meters per second, similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

But unlike the Jovian storm, which is relatively stable in its place, the dark notifications on Neptune are dripping across latitudes. Ultimately, strong winds cause the storms to break apart and disappear.

In the match Astronomical Journal The researchers, co-authorized by the same triad, said that the black shoots on Neptune appeared every four to six years. In general, the dark spaces have at least one to two years, but no more than six years. More observations in the next few years should refine these estimates further.

“We will continue to observe this storm, of course, but the next step is to run computer simulations of deep disturbance and see if we can find the conditions that cause a storm to form and grow, t ”Said Smith Gizmodo.

“We will also be tracking the size, shape and motion of the storm to learn more about the wind fields and deeper temperatures as those can control what we see at the top of the cloud.” T

What would also be good is a satellite that has been permanently located in orbit around Neptune (and Uranus, for that issue). Hubble is great, but it's too far from the outer planets, and often performs other astronomical duties.

It's time for NASA and other space agencies to plan for something like this. These external planets are too alarmingly interesting to ignore.

[Geophysical Research Letters, Astronomical Journal]
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