CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Neptune's clouds
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The bright cirrus-like clouds of Neptune change rapidly, often forming and dissipating over periods of several to tens of hours. In this sequence Voyager 2 observed cloud evolution in the region around the Great Dark Spot (GDS).

The surprisingly rapid changes which occur separating each panel shows that in this region Neptune's weather is perhaps as dynamic and variable as that of the Earth. However, the scale is immense by our standards -- the Earth and the GDS are of similar size -- and in Neptune's frigid atmosphere, where temperatures are as low as 55 degrees Kelvin (-360 F), the cirrus clouds are composed of frozen methane rather than Earth's crystals of water ice.

The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Acquired: August 1989
  Neptune's clouds
PIA 01982

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