The planet Neptune is about 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth, and as you might expect, it is a icy Earth. As it turns out, it’s getting colder when it should be heated. This is the latest from an international team of astronomers who have just completed a 17-year analysis of the gas giant. The change in temperature is so significant that scientists are unsure of its cause.
On Earth, seasons can come and go in the blink of an eye, but not in Neptune. A single Neptune year lasts 164 years on Earth and we discovered the planet only 176 (Earth) years ago. Because Neptune takes so long to complete a single orbit, its seasons last for decades. Summer has been in the southern hemisphere of Neptune since 2005, and astronomers have been anxious to see how the atmosphere warms up during this time. However, they found out In most cases The opposite
The technology needed to accurately capture the temperature of a planet with an average global temperature of -220 degrees Celsius has existed for about 20 years, but the team has collected as much as possible. Using data from a number of ground-based telescopes, including ESA’s Very Large Telescope, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Cake Telescope, but not limited to high infrared sensitivity, it was possible to model Neptune’s atmospheric temperature until 2003.
As the summer draws to a close, instead of seeing the planet warmer, the planet’s average temperature drops by 8 degrees Celsius. It may not sound like much, but keep in mind that summer lasts about 40 Earth years – the temperature dropped sharply when it was supposed to be upward. At the same time, the team noticed a rapid rise in heat at Neptune’s South Pole, and that’s where it’s located.
The funny thing is, no one still has a good handle on why this is happening. This rapid drop in temperature is apparently not related to any process that we can see from our advantage on Earth. There is some speculation that Neptune’s atmospheric chemistry may work differently than we currently believe, or perhaps it is the result of random weather patterns. A similar heat build-up was detected on Saturn before a major storm, but it was not related to a planet-wide cooldown. So, we don’t know why Neptune is getting cold, but we acknowledge that this is the first step towards knowledge.