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By Andrea Thompson
updated 2 hours, 2 minutes ago
A cloudy patch that is typically seen over the south pole of Neptune was spotted in double by astronomers after it briefly split in two, as viewed by ground-based telescopes in 2007.
The cloud feature has been seen near Neptune's south pole since the Voyager 2 spacecraft visited the planet in the late 1980s. But what exactly it was and what processes on the planet generated it weren't known then, as telescopes on Earth can't see Neptune well enough to resolve such small features.
"What we knew about it was that there was a spot," said Mate Ádámkovics, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and a member of the team that made the new observations.