Neptune’s stormy disposition

Neptune’s stormy disposition

. The weather on opposite hemispheres of Neptune is recorded in these images, that combine simultaneous observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The predominant blue color of the planet is a result of absorption of red and infrared light by Neptune’s methane atmosphere. Clouds elevated above most of the methane absorption appear white. Neptune’s powerful jet stream, where winds blow at nearly 400 meters per second, is centered at the dark blue belt near Neptune’s equator. The Great Dark Spot detected when the Voyager 2 spacecraft visited Neptune in August 1989 has completely disappeared in these images, taken seven year later. (Courtesy of NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University