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Here’s the scene: a thick, tempestuous atmosphere with winds blowing at a clip of 900 km/h (560 mph); massive storms that would engulf continents here on Earth, and temperatures in the -220 C (-360 degree F) range. Sounds like a cold Hell, but this is the picture emerging of the planet Uranus, revealed in new high-resolution infrared images from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, exposing in incredible detail the bizarre weather of a planet that was once thought to be rather placid.
The new Keck II pictures of the planet, according to Sromovsky, are the 'most richly detailed views of Uranus yet obtained by any instrument on any observatory
“Uranus is changing,” he said, “and there is certainly something different going on
I will finish with this quote
“Uranus is changing,” he said, “and there is certainly something different going on in the two polar regions.”
Originally posted by Phage
The weather on Uranus changes.. It has never been observed with such detail.edit on 10/18/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)
the summit of Hawaii's 14,000-foot extinct volcano Mauna Kea, to capture a series of images that, when combined, help increase the signal to noise ratio and thus tease out weather features that are otherwise obscured. In two nights of observing under superb conditions, Sromovsky's group was able to obtain exposures of the planet that provide a clear view of the planet's cloudy features, including several new to science. The group used two different filters in an effort to characterize cloud features at different altitudes.
If it has never been seen in such detail, then how do we know that it changes?
"Uranus is changing," he says. "We don't expect things at the north pole to stay the way they are now."
Saturn's South Pole is characterized by a polar vortex or hurricane surrounded by numerous small cloud features indicative of strong convection, analogous to the heavily precipitating clouds encircling the eye of terrestrial hurricanes, she notes
Perhaps we will also see a vortex at Uranus's pole when it comes into view," she says
I wonder if the increased solar activity is effecting the weather of the planets to cause some of this pehnomena?
Caution should be exercised when testing for the statistical significance of the correlation of two autocorrelated time series. The solar peak years can coincide with cold ENSO by chance, even if the two time series are independent, and the coincidence then persists for many cycles due to their autocorrelation, before drifting apart. This study demonstrates that this is indeed the case using the Quinn El Niño index (1525–1987), which is a chronicle of observations of El Niño–related events, and the sunspot number (SSN) series going back to 1750.