CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Neptune - Changes in Great Dark Spot
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
The bright cirrus-like clouds of Neptune change rapidly, often forming and dissipating over periods of several to tens of hours.

In this sequence spanning two rotations of Neptune (about 36 hours) Voyager 2 observed cloud evolution in the region around the Great Dark Spot (GDS) at an effective resolution of about 100 kilometers (62 miles) per pixel. The surprisingly rapid changes which occur over the 18 hours 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 - Changes in Great Dark Spot
PIA 00047

Full Size 430x465:
PNG 145 KB

Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!