Storms on Uranus Observed From Hawaii

Infrared image of Uranus acquired from the Keck Observatory on Aug. 6 2014 (Imke de Pater (UC Berkeley)/Keck Observatory) Colored with Voyager true-color data.

Infrared image of Uranus acquired from the Keck Observatory on Aug. 6 2014 (Imke de Pater (UC Berkeley)/Keck Observatory) Colored with Voyager 2 true-color data.

Wrapped in an atmosphere tinted pale blue by high-altitude methane, Uranus has occasionally been observed to develop large storms in its frigid windy skies. NASA’s Voyager 2 saw a few small storm clouds spotting Uranus during its flyby in Jan. 1986, and more recently some large but short-lived storms were observed by Hubble and the W.M. Keck Observatory as the planet moved toward its equinox in 2007. Now, seven years after its equinox, swirling storms are once again blooming on Uranus — and Keck astronomers have caught them on camera (while preparing for terrestrial hurricanes to make landfall!)

Read more in my article on Discovery News here.

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About Jason Major

Desktop astronomer, graphic designer and space news nut.

Posted on August 11, 2014, in Uranus and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. WOW! That biggest storm there must be many times the size of the Earth! It’s an odd-ball planet anyway. It travels in reverse! It’s been knocked it’s side… Anyway, that’s a lot of fart gas, and a valuable fuel source! My bicycle just needs a little oil and I’ll be on my way… LOL! Interesting phenomenon! But won’t it stink up space?

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  2. Colored with Voyager 2 true-color data?! But Voyager showed very bright whitish cyan hues with no surface features. This is like using the color data from Neptune.

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