View Full Version : Discussion: Uranus Can Be Stormy After All

2004-Nov-12, 05:33 PM
SUMMARY: When the Voyager II spacecraft flew past Uranus in 1986, it saw a fairly boring planet with very little storm activity. But new observations from the 10-metre Keck II telescope in Hawaii show that the planet is getting much more active as it's approaching its equinox, with several new powerful storm systems. Just one image taken this year shows 18 storm systems raging across the planet at the same time - Voyager counted a total of 10 during month-long flyby. Some storms come and go in days, while others can last for years. Some storms can reach wind speeds of 420 km/h (260 mph).

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2004-Nov-13, 04:06 AM
great detail in the picture

2004-Nov-15, 01:01 AM
:D Since when are planets "boring" fraser? :D

2004-Nov-15, 01:41 PM
Some storms come and go in days, while others can last for years. Some storms can reach wind speeds of 420 km/h (260 mph).
My! such a handy source of energy to be used to warm the explorers of such a cold place. How easy would it be for aliens to exploit this energy source and conceal their main operating base. The other giants also share these characteristics. Would it be advisable to continuously monitor the giants with infrared sensors to determine whether unusual concentrations of heat exist there? It would be interesting to brainstorm designs for suspending large self-sustaining operating bases for ourselves in the atmospheres of the giants. Having developed this technology and the attendant procedures in the solar system will serve us well when we start meandering through the MW. It may be easier to set up self-sustaining shops in a gas giant than on small asteroids or moons.

The universe is becoming our playground; first in the solar system, thence to its furtherest reaches.

2004-Nov-16, 03:25 AM
Anybody think that these "storms" may be due to a broken up comet impacting in a similar fashion to what was captured on Jupitor?

2004-Nov-17, 02:27 AM

2004-Nov-17, 01:21 PM
No comets necessary; the violence of the spring storms on Uranus are entirely explained by the excessive tilt. At Summer the atmosphere of the hot pole expands and forces its way into the cold hemisphere; in spring the process begins to reverse and the cold hemisphere warms up chaotically.

Here is an image of mine showing springtime on Uranus, based on these images from Keck; it looks very like Neptune.