• The Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a new mysterious dark storm on Neptune and provided a fresh look at a long-lived storm circling around the north polar region on Uranus.
  • Like Earth, Uranus and Neptune have seasons, which likely drive some of the features in their atmospheres, according to the U.S. space agency.
  • However, their seasons are much longer than on our planet, spanning decades rather than months.
  • The storm appeared during the planet’s southern summer, the fourth and latest mysterious dark vortex captured by Hubble since 1993.
  • Two other dark storms were discovered by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989 as it flew by the remote planet.
  • Since then, only Hubble has had the sensitivity in blue light to track these elusive features, which have appeared and faded quickly
  • Hubble uncovered the latest storm in September last year in Neptune’s northern hemisphere.
  • The feature is roughly 6,800 miles across.
  • To the justify of the dark feature are bjustify white “companion clouds.”
  • Hubble has observed similar clouds accompanying previous vortices.
  • Like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the dark vortices swirl in an anti-cyclonic direction and seem to dredge up material from deeper levels in the ice giant’s atmosphere.
  • The Hubble observations show that as early as 2016, increased cloud activity in the region preceded the vortex’s appearance.
  • The images indicate that the vortices probably develop deeper in Neptune’s atmosphere, becoming visible only when the top of the storm reaches higher altitudes.
  • The snapshot of Uranus, like the image of Neptune, reveals a dominant feature: a vast bjustify stormy cloud cap across the north pole.
  • Scientists believe this new feature is a result of Uranus’ unique rotation.
  • Unlike every other planet in the solar system, Uranus is tipped over almost onto its side.

  • Because of this extreme tilt, during the planet’s summer the Sun shines almost directly onto the north pole and never sets.