Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Images: Scientists Puzzled By Uranus Weather Patterns
www.redorbit.com ^ | 10-21-2012 | Staff

Posted on 10/23/2012 9:39:04 AM PDT by Red Badger

New, exquisitely detailed, high-resolution images of Uranus show off its complex weather patterns and new features of the planet that scientists can’t explain yet.

Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is an ice giant composed mainly of frozen methane, water, ammonia and hydrocarbons. In 1986, Voyager 2 passed by Uranus and returned the iconic image that most associate with the planet. This image showed a smooth, blue-green featureless world. This newest image reveals something different, a world swept with intricate cloudy bands, much like Jupiter and Saturn.

Uranus is at such a distance from Earth that most telescopes can’t resolve much more than the bland façade that Voyager saw. The new image combines many different infrared camera images from the Keck Telescopes in Hawaii. Using this method, scientists were able to reduce background noise and pick out the details of Uranus’ atmosphere. The team presented their results at the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences meeting.

“We’re seeing some new things that before were buried in the noise [in the data],” Larry Sromovsky, a University of Wisconsin-Madison planetary scientist, said.

Circulating clouds, enormous hurricanes, and a never-before-seen scalloped wave pattern just south of the planet’s equator, were revealed by the new composite images. The braid-like scalloped pattern could be caused by wind shear or atmospheric instability, but the cause is unknown so far. The data also showed that hydrogen, helium and methane clouds race by in the atmosphere at 560 miles an hour.

The image revealed the bands around Uranus, highlighting an important quirk of the planet. Uranus is tilted almost completely on its side, with the cloud bands running up and down instead of side to side like those on Jupiter do. Uranus’ North Pole features unusual convective spots that may indicate the presence of an enormous polar hurricane.

It appears weather systems are fairly stable on Uranus, like the other giant planets in our solar system. The weather systems often remain at the same latitude for years at a time, with planet-wide storms that are much less intense than similar weather on Earth. The Sun drives weather and it is 900 times weaker in its effect on Uranus than on Earth. Sometimes, however, Uranian storms have bizarre changes in shape and size that seem to be more powerful than would be possible given the little amount of solar energy that arrives in the outer solar system.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: astronomy; planet; science; space

1 posted on 10/23/2012 9:39:05 AM PDT by Red Badger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; KevinDavis

Space Ping!...........


2 posted on 10/23/2012 9:39:58 AM PDT by Red Badger (Why yes, that was crude and uncalled for......That's why I said it..............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Scientists Puzzled By Uranus Weather Patterns

Generally hot and windy after a big Mexican meal....


3 posted on 10/23/2012 9:42:25 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Watch out for large cloud’s forming...


4 posted on 10/23/2012 9:46:43 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ImJustAnotherOkie

warning curb ahead

5 posted on 10/23/2012 9:55:29 AM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
In 1986, Voyager 2 passed by Uranus ...

I swear, that was right before I quit drinking and I don't remember ANYTHING that year!

6 posted on 10/23/2012 9:57:17 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doogle

They really should change the name of that planet. Maybe a contest. My entry would be Urobama.


7 posted on 10/23/2012 9:57:35 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

specially when Hurricane Chalupa wipes out Taco Bell!


8 posted on 10/23/2012 10:01:57 AM PDT by gr8eman (Ron Swanson for President!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Alas Babylon!

Well, V-ger is going about 50,000 mph........


9 posted on 10/23/2012 10:02:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (Why yes, that was crude and uncalled for......That's why I said it..............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Puzzled By Uranus Weather Patterns

OK I know the First Sasquatch has an enormous backside, but I seriously doubt even hers is big enough to create its own weather patterns. Although I am sure it produces some serious wind storms.

10 posted on 10/23/2012 10:05:30 AM PDT by commish (After Four Years of Obama, America needs a little R & R.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

“ice giant composed mainly of frozen methane, water, ammonia and hydrocarbons.”

???

And I always assumed Uranus was filled with hot gasses!


11 posted on 10/23/2012 10:16:14 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
A Freeper reported a while back that because of the tasteless scatological jokes being made about Uranus, the astronomical community is considering a name-change to Urectum.
12 posted on 10/23/2012 10:17:10 AM PDT by JPG (Make it happen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ImJustAnotherOkie
They really should change the name of that planet. Maybe a contest.

The winner would be Urrectum.

13 posted on 10/23/2012 10:17:44 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: JRios1968

Same stuff comes out.


14 posted on 10/23/2012 10:30:40 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Spock had to make a pit stop on Uranus.


15 posted on 10/23/2012 10:30:48 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

all they need to do is consult a proctologist!!...sheesh!!:)


16 posted on 10/23/2012 10:48:09 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus; Lazamataz
And I always assumed Uranus was filled with hot gasses!

----------

Jean Luc Lazamataz made another discovery about Uranus.


17 posted on 10/23/2012 10:57:29 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Your mother wears army boots and Uranus spins sideways.
And just in case you couldn't find it:

(just kiddin' ya know)

18 posted on 10/23/2012 11:23:12 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrB

Most liberals can’t find Uranus in the dark with two hands, a map and a flashlight............


19 posted on 10/23/2012 11:28:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (Why yes, that was crude and uncalled for......That's why I said it..............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

“Using this method, scientists were able to reduce background noise”

Cutting out carbonated beverages helps too.


20 posted on 10/23/2012 11:38:57 AM PDT by ScottfromNJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Aren't those pictures covered by HIPAA privacy rules?

My lawyer will be calling my doctor this afternoon!

21 posted on 10/23/2012 11:51:24 AM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

That’s why most liberals use their noses instead.


22 posted on 10/23/2012 11:52:48 AM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

although the overall temperature of Uranus is very cold, some aspects of Uranus atmosphere and geology are extremely hot

http://library.thinkquest.org/C002416/uranus/index.htm

I remember reading recently that the mechanism for the high temperatures in/on Uranus are not clearly understood, and it is accepted that the energy Uranus receives from the Sun is too weak, too little to be the factor


23 posted on 10/23/2012 12:06:26 PM PDT by Wuli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Haven’t had a good “Uranus” thread in a while.


24 posted on 10/23/2012 12:08:25 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ImJustAnotherOkie

Fry: Did you build the Smelloscope?

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: No, I remembered that I’d built one last year. Go ahead, try it. You’ll find that every heavenly body has its own particular scent. Here, I’ll point it at Jupiter.

Fry: Smells like strawberries.

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Exactly. And now, Saturn.

Fry: Pine needles. Oh, man, this is great... hey, as long as you don’t make me smell Uranus.

Leela: I don’t get it.

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: I’m sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.

Fry: Oh. What’s it called now?

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Urrectum. Here, let me locate it for you.

Fry: No, no, I, I think I’ll just smell around a bit over here.

- Futurama


25 posted on 10/23/2012 12:23:33 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
Let's face it folks. Scientists are ALWAYS puzzled. That's why they constantly need financial grants to study what they DON'T know.

Nothing new here.

26 posted on 10/23/2012 12:37:34 PM PDT by VideoDoctor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

OMG! It’s climate change! Quick! Launch some wind turbines and electric cars at it! Maybe throw in some birkenstock wearing hippies on bicycles too!


27 posted on 10/23/2012 12:53:35 PM PDT by 3boysdad (The very elect.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 3boysdad

I used to wear Birkenstocks.......until I couldn’t afford them anymore, thanks to Obama..............


28 posted on 10/23/2012 12:56:16 PM PDT by Red Badger (Why yes, that was crude and uncalled for......That's why I said it..............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Evacuate the galaxy! Scientists have detected foul winds emanating from Uranus.


29 posted on 10/23/2012 4:09:39 PM PDT by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Thanks Red Badger. I guess this explains that cloud of gas coming from Uranus.


30 posted on 10/24/2012 6:35:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson