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(Astronomy) Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere

 
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adedios
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject: (Astronomy) Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere Reply with quote






Hubble Makes Movie Of Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere
Space Telescope Science Institute
Date: 2005-09-02
URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....064203.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hubble Makes Movie Of Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere
New NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of the distant planet Neptune show a dynamic atmosphere and capture the fleeting orbits of its satellites. The images have been assembled into a time-lapse movie revealing the orbital motion of the satellites.

Images were taken in 14 different colored filters probing various altitudes in Neptune's deep atmosphere so that scientists can study the haze and clouds in detail.

The natural-color view of Neptune, common to naked eye telescopic views by amateur astronomers, reveals a cyan colored planet. Methane gas in Neptune's atmosphere absorbs most of the red sunlight hitting the planet, making it look blue-green. The image was created by combining images in red, green, and blue light.

Neptune's subtle features are more visible in the enhanced-color view. Images taken in special methane filters show details not visible to the human eye. The features seen in this enhanced image must be above most of the sunlight-absorbing methane to be detectable through these special filters.

The planet is so dark at the methane wavelengths that long exposures can be taken, revealing some of Neptune's smaller moons. Clockwise from the top, these moons are Proteus, Larissa, Despina, and Galatea. Neptune had 13 moons at last count.

Neptune is the most distant giant planet in our Solar System, orbiting the Sun every 165 years. It is so large tht nearly 60 Earths could fit inside it. A day on Neptune is between 14 hours and 19 hours. The inner two thirds of Neptune is composed of a mixture of molten rock, water, liquid ammonia and methane. The outer third is a mixture of heated gases comprised of hydrogen, helium, water and methane.

On April 29 and 30, 2005, Hubble images were taken every 4-5 hours, spaced at about a quarter of Neptune's rotational period. These where combined to create a time-lapse movie of the dynamic planet.


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Questions to explore further this topic:

The Movie:

http://www.planetary.org/explo....._movie.mov

What is Neptune?

http://www.dustbunny.com/afk/planets/neptune/
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclo.....2/Neptune_(planet).html
http://www.nasm.si.edu/ceps/etp/neptune/
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/to.....ptune.html
http://www.seasky.org/solarsystem/sky3i1.html
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planet.....ct=Neptune
http://www.frontiernet.net/~kidpower/neptune.html
http://www.planetary.org/explo.....m/neptune/
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planet.....splay=Kids
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/pla.....efact.html
http://www.kidzworld.com/site/p1404.htm

Images from Neptune:

http://www.planetary.org/explo.....mages.html
http://hubblesite.org/newscent.....m/neptune/
http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/ao/neptune.html
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.g.....ly/Neptune
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planet.....ay=Gallery

What are the moons of Neptude?

http://www.planetary.org/explo.....moons.html
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planet.....play=Moons
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~she.....tdata.html

Proteus
http://www.planetary.org/explo.....oteus.html

Triton
http://www.planetary.org/explo.....riton.html

Mission to Neptune:

http://www.planetary.org/explo.....sions.html
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/missio.....=Voyager_2

Voyager 2
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/missio.....=Voyager_2

Does Neptune have rings?

http://www.planetary.org/explo.....rings.html
http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planet.....play=Rings
http://pds-rings.seti.org/neptune/#ANIMATIONS

GAMES

http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/Kids/


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject: Discovery Hints at a Quadrillion Space Rocks Beyond Neptune Reply with quote

Discovery Hints at a Quadrillion Space Rocks Beyond Neptune

By Sara Goudarzi
Staff Writer
posted: 15 August 2006
06:13 am ET



Dozens of rocky bodies that are part of a sea of small rocky fragments never observed before have been spotted in the suburbs of our solar system beyond planet Neptune, thanks to a novel technique.


These newly detected chunks of dust and rock coined Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO) are smaller than 330 feet (100 meters) across. They are leftovers from the formation of planets.


Scientists had previously detected TNOs larger than 31 miles (50 kilometer) across such as the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO), a subset of TNOs. They suspected that there may be distant objects beyond Neptune since the 1940's, but it wasn't until 1992 that the first KBO was discovered.


Since then, they've found so many large objects in the outskirts of the solar system that they had to come up with crazy names, like Plutinos, Centaurs, and Cubewanos, to keep them in order. And although researchers suspected the presence of smaller objects, they didn't have a way to detect the sea of debris.

For the full article:

http://space.com/scienceastron.....found.html
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Strange Neptune Reply with quote

Strange Neptune
Emily Sohn

Jan. 17, 2007

Astronomers look for rules. They seek theories and develop models that tidily explain how planets form, how moons move, and how the universe came to look the way it does.

But these scientists also keep finding exceptions to their rules. In our planetary neighborhood, Neptune is one of the more delinquent objects.

The eighth planet in our solar system is about 2.7 billion miles from the sun and very cold. Yet some mysterious source of energy powers winds that gust up to 1,000 miles per hour. Jupiter's moon Triton, which spouts geysers of ice, orbits the planet at a weird angle. And unlike the gas giants Saturn and Jupiter, Neptune and its neighbor Uranus are heavy and made of ice and rock.

These and other unusual features have puzzled scientists for decades. "Neptune is peculiar," says Craig Agnor, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Recent discoveries have added to the intrigue. "The outer solar system is where we're making discoveries right now that are changing our fundamental understanding of the solar system," Agnor says.

Although there's nothing in the works yet, two teams of researchers recently developed proposals for a possible mission to Neptune.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids......ature1.asp
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Source of Neptune's Hot Spots Found Reply with quote

Source of Neptune's Hot Spots Found
By Jeanna Bryner, Staff Writer

posted: 18 September 2007 01:17 pm ET

New measurements reveal Neptune's south pole is warmer than the rest of the planet, as expected. But it's still frigid.


The polar region's relative warmth could provide a route for methane gas to escape from the deep atmosphere, explaining mysterious hot spots that have been reported there, according to the study scientists.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/spa....._warm.html
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