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Neptune’s Weird Dark Spot Just Got Weirder


Neptune boasts some of the strangest weather in the solar system. The sun’s eighth planet holds the record for the fastest winds observed on any world, with speeds cutting through the atmosphere upward of 1,100 miles per hour, or 1.5 times the speed of sound. Scientists still don’t know exactly why its atmosphere is so tumultuous. Their latest glimpse of Neptune provided even more reason to be confused.


The Hubble Space Telescope identified a storm in 2018, a dark spot some 4,600 miles across. Since that time, it appears to have drifted toward the equator but then swooped back up north, according to the latest Hubble observations. It also has a smaller companion storm, nicknamed Dark Spot Jr., that scientists think might be a chunk that broke off the main storm. These inky vortexes stand out against the dizzying cerulean blue of the planet, but while they’re dazzling to see, their life spans are short, making them even more challenging to study.

原文来自The New York Times