Mysterious Bright Storms Have Been Sweeping Across the Surface of Uranus

Cassius Methyl
February 20, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA)  The Hubble Space Telescope, which has been in space since 1990, has been observing storms on Uranus since about August. These storms are so large they form a partial belt across the planet.  They are occurring 7 years after Uranus’ 42-year equinox, therefore astronomers are deeming these events as inexplicable.

The telescope brought in data suggesting that the storms were taking place at various altitudes, “a phenomenon that may be linked to a vortex deep in Uranus’s atmosphere,” according to this article.

However, possibly the strangest thing about the “storms” is the fact that they are bright white. They are either reflecting large amounts of light from the sun, or there is some light mysteriously emanating from these storms.

Here are some pictures of the storms on Uranus:

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The storms  that have not ended since August of last year are actually bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers.

Imke de Pater of the University of California at Berkeley, who spent time observing the storms on Uranus had this to say in regards to the storms’ cause:

It was brighter than anything we had ever seen in Uranus’s atmosphere before. We have no idea. It’s very unexpected.

A report from Cornell University’s library website says:

“In spite of an expected decline in convective activity following the 2007 equinox of Uranus, eight sizable storms were detected on the planet with the near-infrared camera NIRC2, coupled to the adaptive optics system, on the 10-m W. M. Keck telescope on UT 5 and 6 August 2014. All storms were on Uranus’s northern hemisphere, including the brightest storm ever seen in this planet at 2.2 μm, reflecting 30% as much light as the rest of the planet at this wavelength. The storm was at a planetocentric latitude of ∼15∘N and reached altitudes of ∼330 mbar, well above the regular uppermost cloud layer (methane-ice) in the atmosphere. A cloud feature at a latitude of 32∘N, that was deeper in the atmosphere (near ∼2 bar), was later seen by amateur astronomers. We also present images returned from our HST ToO program, that shows both of these cloud features. We further report the first detection of a long-awaited haze over the north polar region.”

Once a person goes deep into a general analysis of the universe, deep thinking, reality gets more and more confusing.

Any truly comprehensive astronomer will tell you that the more they learn about the universe, the less they know about certain things that seem concrete.

Of course the pieces can be put together to form an overall, extremely-complex theory on the nature of the universe and existence. There seems to be a never-ending list of things to learn about our space, and with all we keep learning it becomes clear we are not anywhere close to a full understanding of the universe’s existence. This alone is enough to humble people and create appreciation for the existence we are.

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