The Hubble Space Telescope takes photographs of Uranus and helps scientists study its climate.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Spring is no Picnic on Uranus
News story originally written on February 14, 2000
If you lived on Uranus, spring would probably not be your favorite season. Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists can study the planet's climate like never before. They came up with some surprising results.
On Earth, spring is often considered a favorite season. The snow is melted, the grass is green and the temperatures warm up. On Uranus, spring signals a time of violent storms and cold temperatures. There are hurricanes larger than half of the United States, and temperatures dip below -300 ° F!
"No one has ever seen this view in the modern era of
astronomy because of the long year of Uranus - more than
84 Earth years," Heidi Hammel of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology said in a statement.
Spring on Earth lasts for a few months. But on Uranus it won't be summer until the year 2007! This doesn't seem so bad when you compare it to the decades of winter the planet is leaving behind. Only one word comes to mind... Burr!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
Let's get rid of some common misconceptions about the seasons. The Earth's orbit is in the shape of an ellipse, so that sometimes the Earth is a little bit closer to the Sun than at other times. Is this...more
As a strong hurricane heads towards a vulnerable coast, people take precautions - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These massive storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more