October 31, 2011
Mysterious Spot on Uranus
Larry Sromovsky, a planetary scientist, photographed a bright spot in Uranus' atmosphere which he believes to be the result of an eruption of methane ice. While Uranus shares many characteristics with the other gas giants, Uranus consists of more water, methane, and ammonia ice. Heidi Hammel, a fellow planetary scientist, explained that studying Uranus' atmosphere can lead to "unique insight into the energy balance in planetary atmosphere." Uranus is unique because it rotates on its side which results in extreme changes in seasons. Although the bright spots are not completely confirmed, planetary scientists are hoping further evidence will convince the operators of the Hubble Telescope to take a closer look to determine whether these bright spots are a result of methane ice eruptions.
Posted by mikeeng at October 31, 2011 10:44 PM