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Uranus Clouds Overview - Windows to the Universe

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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This is an image of Uranus in false color.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Uranus Clouds, Overview

The clouds of Uranus, composed of methane crystals, are found very low in the atmosphere, and are difficult to see below the smog haze s of the planet. False color is used, in the image of Uranus to the right, to better show the pattern the clouds make. In the image, the atmosphere displays a pattern of concentric circles (that is circles inside of circles). This is because the center o f the image is the north pole. The winds of Uranus blow clouds counterclockwise in the picture, as opposed to left to right as they would in an image of Jupiter.

Because Uranus lies on its side, with the north pole facing the sun, the seasons, and weather of Uranus should be very strange.


Last modified May 7, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF