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Mysterious darkish spot on Neptune detected from Earth for first time | Science & Tech Information

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Scientists have detected a mysterious darkish spot on Neptune from Earth for the primary time.

The massive, darkish space is inside Neptune’s environment and subsequent to an sudden, smaller vivid spot, specialists have mentioned.

Spots are frequent on big planets – probably the most well-known being Jupiter’s Nice Pink Spot – however specialists say that is the primary time one has been seen on Neptune with a telescope from Earth.

They continue to be a thriller to astronomers, who’re hoping the brand new discovery will present clues as to what causes them.

Michael Wong, a researcher on the College of California, mentioned: “That is an astounding enhance in humanity’s capacity to watch the cosmos.

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“At first, we might solely detect these spots by sending a spacecraft there, like Voyager.

“Then we gained the power to make them out remotely with Hubble. Lastly, know-how has superior to allow this from the bottom.”

A darkish spot was first found on Neptune by NASA’s Voyager 2 in 1989, earlier than disappearing just a few years later.

Patrick Irwin, professor on the College of Oxford and lead investigator of the research, mentioned: “Because the first discovery of a darkish spot, I’ve all the time questioned what these short-lived and elusive darkish options are.”

The scientists have seen the spot for themselves by utilizing the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Massive Telescope (VLT).

The researchers used information from the VLT to rule out the chance that darkish spots are brought on by a clearing within the clouds.

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Their analysis, printed in Nature Astronomy, started after NASA and the European Area Company’s Hubble Area Telescope found a number of darkish spots within the planet’s environment, together with one in Neptune’s northern hemisphere in 2018.

They have been capable of be taught extra by splitting the daylight mirrored from the planet and observations counsel the pure phenomena could possibly be brought on by air particles darkening as ice and hazes combine in Neptune’s environment.

The spectrum technique astronomers used helped them decide how excessive the present darkish spot sits within the environment, in addition to revealing the chemical composition of various layers in Neptune’s environment.

The observations additionally supplied up a shock consequence – a uncommon deep vivid cloud sort that had by no means been recognized earlier than, even from house.

This uncommon cloud sort appeared as a vivid spot proper beside the bigger essential darkish spot.



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