Exploring Neptune was a challenge due to its distance from our planet, but science has now evolved and says something different.
A spot on the surface of Neptune It is nothing new. The storms that occur on the planet have been explored thanks to instruments Like the Hubble telescope. but, This is the first time that dark spots have been observed from Earth. Also called swirlsThese phenomena were captured using very large telescope, located in Atacama desert in Chile. This is what we know.
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One step to the stars
he The discovery is a turning point for space observationBecause until now it was not possible to observe a star as far away as Neptune with this accuracy, The eighth planet of our solar system.
“At first, we could only detect these spots by sending spacecraft there, like Voyager. Then we got the ability to do it remotely with Hubble,” says Michael Wong, co-author of the book. Study where it was published the findings. “Finally, technology has advanced to the point where it allows us to do this from the mainland.”
What is the spot discovered on Neptune?
And yet we do not know exactly. Research team working with the photo He has several hypotheses Although he stresses that it is too early to know for sure.
One possibility is that hydrogen sulfide is the one It emerges from the deep layers of the planet due to the whirlpool. And when the material hits the sun’s rays hitting the planet’s surface, It reacts to ultraviolet light and appears on photos as a dark spot.
The other is hydrogen sulfide Dark particles condense around This heat generated by the anti-cyclonic conditions will cause the acid to sublimate Expose the dark particles.
“Since the first discovery of the dark spot, I’ve always wondered what these short, elusive features are,” he says. Patrick Irwin, astronomer at the University of Oxford. “I am very happy that I not only made the first detection of a dark spot on Earth, but also recorded the spectrum of this phenomenon for the first time.”
gift beneath the surface
In addition to the amazing find, the observation in The Very Large Telescope brought with it another discovery. It is a new type of cloud, one that has never been seen before, not even from space.
especially for being deep and bright, This cloud stands out from the crowd and has become an essential part of the study of Neptune. This body has accompanied the dark spot and it is likely that we will find it More pairs of spots and clouds if exploration continues.
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