Seasons on Neptune began to behave strangely

(ORDO NEWS) — A new study by astronaut scientists at the University of Leicester has revealed how temperatures in Neptune’s atmosphere have fluctuated unexpectedly over the past two decades.

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Leicester and NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has combined all existing thermal infrared images of Neptune collected by multiple observatories over nearly two decades.

By analyzing the data, the researchers were able to get a more complete picture of Neptune’s temperature trends than ever before.

Collective datasets have shown a decrease in Neptune’s thermal brightness, indicating that mean temperatures in Neptune’s stratosphere dropped by about 8℃ between 2003 and 2018.

Dr Michael Roman, a research fellow at the University of Leicester and the paper’s lead author, said: “ This change was unexpected. Because we expected the temperature to gradually get warmer rather than colder. ”

Neptune has an axial tilt, so it, like Earth, has seasons. However, given its vast distance from the Sun, it takes Neptune over 165 years to orbit the star, and so the seasons change slowly, over 40 Earth years each.

Dr. Glenn Orton, senior scientist at JPL and co-author of the study, said: “ Our data covers less than half of the Neptunian season, so no one expected to see big and fast changes . ”


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