Astronomers find Bright storm system close to Neptune’s equator


Recently, the Astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley found a bright, low-altitude and big new storm system. The system is as massive as the earth and gave out more flashing lights from June 26 to July 2.

Although seeing storm systems in the outer planets is not an entirely new phenomenon, but the just discovered storm system of about 9,000 kilometers long is unique because of its citation and persistence even after a month later.

According to Ned Molter, a UC Berkeley graduate, it’s astonishing to see such bright storm at such a low altitude. On the ordinary, the area only has bright clouds towards the mid-latitude bands and is very quiet. He added that it’s not ordinary to see such cloud seated in the equator. Molter is the visiting scholar that saw the unusual storm system first.

Bright clouds are not unusual in Neptune

Astronomers say that the bright clouds are often found near the poles in Neptune. However, this is the first case of seeing a prolonged bright storm very close to the Neptune’s equator. As such, they are studying how it got to be, its location and the unusual persistence.

Professor Imke de Pater, an astronomy professor at the UC Berkeley, said that since the unexpected storm has been present for some weeks, the chances are that there’s a binding force.

Astronauts are suggesting that a dark vortex may be below or behind the storm, but they can’t tell exactly how possible it is for a persistent vortex to exist near the equator. Also, the possibility that the storm is a massive cloud molded together is not eliminated, but the issue is that such cloud often dissipates within a short while.

Professor de Pater pointed out that such indicates apparent changes in the motions of the Neptune’s atmosphere. And maybe, it’s a seasonal change that may occur once in a while.