rhamphotheca:

Univ. of Wisconsin: Watching the Weather of Uranus

U of W press release

Using a new technique, astronomers are bringing Uranus into sharp focus. New observations are revealing incredible details about the bizarre weather on our solar system’s seventh planet.

In 1986, when Voyager swept past Uranus, the probe’s portraits of the planet were “notoriously bland,” disappointing scientists, yielding few new details of the planet and its atmosphere, and giving it a reputation as a bore of the Solar System. 

Now, however, thanks to a new technique applied at the Keck Observatory, Uranus is coming into sharp focus through high-resolution infrared images, revealing in incredible detail the bizarre weather of the seventh planet from the Sun. The findings are valuable for astrobiologists who are trying to understand the diversity of worlds that exist in the Universe and the potential habitats for life that might exist around distant stars. 

The images were released in Reno, Nevada at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences and provide the best look to date at Uranus’ complex and enigmatic weather…

(read more: Astrobiology Magazine)           (images: NASA/JPL)

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