The Universe Today : Our Best Picture of Neptune

Atmospheric conditions must have been great today because we took what we believe to be our best picture of Neptune so far.

Look at the picture below and you will see the blue world of Neptune which is 17 times the mass of Earth. Neptune is an ice giant and has an atmosphere containing water, ammonia and methane.

Like Jupiter, Neptune has large storms crossing over it’s surface and it also has a Great Dark Spot which was seen by Voyager 2.

If you look at our picture, you can see Neptune in the middle of the picture and at the eleven o’clock position you can just make out it’s largest moon Triton.

You can also see some red marks at the top and bottom edge of Neptune in our picture. We believe those are some of the bands of methane in the planet’s atmosphere which we were surprised to pick up. Of course we did process the picture to enhance the color of Neptune.

We have included a picture of Neptune in the top right taken by the Hubble showing these methane bands.

The image below was processed by

Neptune 19th May (Click to Enlarge)

~ by sydneystargazers on May 19, 2011.

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