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Neptune's "Birthday" pics!

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posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:07 AM
Neptune has arrived back at the same location it was when it was first discovered 165 years ago. To commemorate this event, NASA trained the Hubble telescope on it and took these "birthday photos."

NASA, via Science Daily

Neptune was the first planet to be discovered based on the effect it had on the orbit of a known planet. Measurements of the recently discovered planet Uranus showed that it sped up and slowed down slightly at one point in its orbit, leading Alex Bouvard to speculate that there must be another body influencing it. Twenty years later, two astronomers, working separately, were able to calculate where this previously unseen planet must be. Although an Englishman named John Couch Adams had worked out the problem, he was never fully satisfied and kept re-working the math. As a result, he did not publish his findings. It was a Frenchman, Urbain Le Verrier, who provided the information to the Berlin Observatory, where sharp eyed Johann Gottfried Galle was able to find it after only two nights' searching, thanks to an extremely accurate chart that the observatory had just completed!

If you would like to see Neptune yourself, you will need to live in an area with very dark skies and use a pair of binoculars. It is currently visible in the south around 3AM:


Further tips for observing Neptune can be found here:
edit on 13-7-2011 by DJW001 because: Edit to correct formatting.

edit on 13-7-2011 by DJW001 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:11 AM
Well then,
Happy Birthday Neptune!!!
It doesn't look a day over a million!!

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:13 AM
Yes 165 Earth years 1 Neptune year since Earth located Neptune.

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:20 AM
Are those true or false color images? Its interesting to see the redness in the atmosphere as previous photo's don't show the red. I bring this up just because of the news that Pluto has been becoming more red and wonder if its related.

Pluto becoming red

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:21 AM
Happy Birthday Neptune.

Anybody? I was curious as to the glowing areas that always seem to be seen on pics of Neptune, anybody know what they are?

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by QBSneak000

Its just a chemical change from a possible new local visitor.

Be well

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by rbnhd76

Technically, all of Hubble's photos are "false color" because they are taken through multiple filters. This is roughly what you would expect to see in the visible range, although the brilliant orange spots would probably look white to the naked eye. Neptune is an extremely mysterious planet. There is some controversy about the exact length of its day, there is a marked seasonal variation in the temperatures at the poles, it has been blamed for ejecting planetoids into the Kuiper belt, it has a high axial tilt and some of the harshest winds in the Solar System. It is also very, very blue!

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:43 AM
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13

please tell me your not talking about that Nibiru nonsense. If you are I hate to burst your bubble but if it was as close as they say it is, every amateur backyard astronomer would be able to see it.

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:47 AM
reply to post by QBSneak000

not Nibiru it would just pop up below the south pole from a wormhole
no just a celestial object that may be in the local that causes chemical and physical changes like Saturns early glogal storm this year ect. Or the Venus white spot impact or whatever and the jupiter black spot whatever just celestial changes tis all..

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:52 AM
Now we just need to Divert the funds from the Defunct Space Shuttle Program. To some outer solar system Probes.

To orbit Neptune and Uranus That would be wonderful..

Each space shuttle flight costs 2 billion dollars.

Each Outer Solar system Probe would be an estimated

500million -1 billion. Most likely on the lower end.

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:59 AM
reply to post by QBSneak000

A strange spot emerged on Venus last week, and astronomers are not sure what caused it. They hope future observations will reveal whether volcanic activity, turbulence in the planet's atmosphere, or charged particles from the sun are to blame.

Amateur astronomer Frank Melillo of Holtsville, New York, first spotted the new feature, which is brighter than its surroundings at ultraviolet wavelengths, on the planet's southern hemisphere on 19 July. That same day, an amateur observer in Australia found a dark spot on Jupiter that had been caused by a meteoroid impact.

The Venus spot was confirmed by other observers, and images from Europe's Venus Express, the only spacecraft in orbit around the planet, later revealed that the spot had appeared at least four days before Melillo saw it.

Observations show that the spot had already spread out somewhat by the end of last week, and astronomers are awaiting more recent observations from Venus Express.

The spot is bright at ultraviolet wavelengths, which may argue against a meteoroid impact as a cause. That's because rocky bodies, with the exception of objects very rich in water ice, should cause an impact site to darken at ultraviolet wavelengths as it fills with debris that absorbs such light, says Sanjay Limaye of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Venus Express team.

Powerful eruption?
Another possibility is that a gust of charged particles from the sun could have created the glow by energising a patch of the upper atmosphere. Alternatively, waves in the atmosphere, which trigger turbulence and are thought to carry material up and down, could have concentrated bright material to create the spot.

A volcanic eruption is another suspect. Venus boasts the most volcanoes of any planet in the solar system, and nearly 90% of its surface is covered by basaltic lava flows, although no 'smoking gun' has yet been found for current volcanic activity. But an eruption would have had to be very powerful to punch through a dense layer in Venus's atmosphere to create the spot some 65 to 70 kilometres above the planet's surface.

"It's fair to say something unusual happened on Venus. Unfortunately, we don't know what happened," Limaye told New Scientist.

Something has smashed into Jupiter, leaving behind a black spot in the planet's atmosphere, scientists confirmed on Monday.

This is only the second time such an impact has been observed. The first was almost exactly 15 years ago, when more than 20 fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with the gas giant.

"This has all the hallmarks of an impact event, very similar to Shoemaker-Levy 9," said Leigh Fletcher, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. "We're all extremely excited."

The impact was discovered by amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley in Murrumbateman, Australia at about 1330 GMT on Sunday. Wesley noticed a black spot in Jupiter's south polar region (see image) – but he very nearly stopped observing before he saw it.

"By 1am I was ready to quit ... then changed my mind and decided to carry on for another half hour or so," he wrote in his observation report. Initially he suspected he was seeing one of Jupiter's moons or a moon's shadow on the planet, but the location, size and speed of the spot ruled out that possibility.

'Stroke of luck'
After checking images taken two nights earlier and not seeing the spot, he realised he had found something new and began emailing others.

Among the people he contacted were Fletcher and Glenn Orton, also at JPL. They had serendipitously scheduled observing time on NASA's InfraRed Telescope Facility in Hawaii for that night.

"It was a fantastic stroke of luck," Orton told New Scientist.

Their team began observations at about 1000 GMT on 20 July, and after six hours of observing confirmed that the spot was an impact and not a weather event.

"It's completely unlike any of the weather phenomena that we observe on Jupiter," Orton says.

The first clue was a near-infrared image of the upper atmosphere above the impact site. An impact would make a splash like a stone thrown into a pool, scattering material in the atmosphere upwards. This material would then reflect sunlight, appearing as a bright spot at near-infrared wavelengths.


edit on 7/13/11 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 11:56 AM
reply to post by TheUniverse

To orbit Neptune and Uranus That would be wonderful..

Indeed. A Uranus orbiter and probe is among the projects proposed in NASA's 2011 decadal survey. More details:

Unfortunately, whatever funds NASA has left after the government goes on its inevitable "austerity program" will probably go to the next Mars mission.

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 12:00 PM
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13

Things crash into Jupiter all the time. Usually they are small enough that we don't notice them. The UV spot on Venus is intriguing, but may simply be a routine occurrence we have never noticed before. We haven't been observing our neighborhood closely enough in all frequencies for long enough to know whether anything is really "changing" all that much!

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 03:04 PM
reply to post by DJW001

Unfortunately, whatever funds NASA has left after the government goes on its inevitable "austerity program" will probably go to the next Mars mission.

The manned one?

I think they should possibly still have some funding left-over for 1 or 2 outer-solar system probes.

Send one to Jupiter IMO

And one another one to Uranus and Neptune.

The estimated cost for the full mission would place it in at the lower end of the larger flagship range (~$2B FY15 dollars). The mission could be descoped to the cost of a small flagship missions (~$1.5B) by addressing Tier 1 objectives only.

Well that's from your link. It seems like it will be almost as expensive as a 1 shuttle mission.

I think its worth it though.

I'd trade 1 shuttle mission for a Jupiter/Uranus/Neptune Orbiter in a heart beat.
edit on 13-7-2011 by TheUniverse because: (no reason given)

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