New research suggests that Neptune and Uranus are a similar shade of greenish-blue. This goes against the commonly held belief that the two outer planets are vastly different colors.
Traditionally, Uranus is depicted as a pale cyan color and Neptune as a deep azure color, but this is primarily due to the first images of both planets taken by NASA’s Voyager 2 mission in 1986 and 1989, respectively. Because it showed that.
However, according to a new paper, published Today is Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices, the misunderstanding was caused by an inaccurate color composite of Voyager 2’s images. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the researchers rebalanced the composite color image to reveal the true colors of the two planets.
lost in time
“While the well-known Voyager 2 image of Uranus was released in close to ‘true’ color, the image of Neptune was actually stretched and enhanced, making it look artificially too blue. ” said lead author Professor Patrick Irwin. Oxford University. “Although artificially saturated colors were known to planetary scientists at the time and images were published with descriptive captions, over time that distinction has been lost. I lost it.” blue planet
Irwin believes his team has been able to reconstruct the most accurate representations ever of the colors of both Neptune and Uranus, with Neptune even slightly smaller due to that planet’s thin layer of haze. It was determined that there was a hint of blue.
The model used to correct data from Voyager 2’s camera can also be used to recover data from Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
This study not only identifies that Uranus is greenish-blue, like Neptune, but also explains why Uranus’ color changes slightly during the Sun’s 84-year revolution. Uranus appears a little greener at the summer solstice (when one of the planet’s poles points toward the sun), but takes on a more bluish tinge at the vernal equinox. According to the researchers, this is due to differences in reflectance between polar and equatorial regions, and in the polar regions, where the sun shines in summer, an icy haze is observed that gradually thickens as the planet moves from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice. It is said that it is for a reason.
misunderstanding of the planet
“The misperceptions of Neptune’s colors and the unusual color changes of Uranus have puzzled us for decades,” said the University of Astronomy, which has spent decades studying Neptune and Uranus. says Dr. Heidi Hummel of the Association (AURA). However, he was not involved in the study. “This comprehensive study should finally settle both questions.”
I wish you clear skies and big eyes.