This is an image of Neptune's current Great Dark Spot.
Click on image for full size
NASA/STScI and Dr. Heidi B. Hammel
Neptune's Present Great Dark Spot
This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern hemisphere, in the bottom right corner of the picture. (The north is on the bottom in this image, because telescopes always flip upside down the object that is being viewed). This hole is where the new Great Dark Spot is.
The Voyager image from 1989 of the Great Dark Spot, shows a much nicer picture than the present images taken by the Hubble telescope. This is because the planet Neptune is very far away, and Voyager, on its discovery mission, was very, very close to Neptune.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern hemisphere,...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more
This image shows some clouds known as "cirrus" clouds, extending for many kilometers across the face of Neptune. These clouds are very high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouds,...more
This image of Neptune uses false colors to show where the smog is. The smog of Neptune can be seen in red along the edge of the image. These hazes of smog are found at very high altitudes, over the clouds...more
Like Jupiter and all the giant planets, Neptune's appearance shows a striped pattern of clouds. Other cloud shapes seen over time include a small dark spot, the "scooter" and the Great Dark Spot. The Great...more
Scientists think that the solar system formed out of a spinning cloud of hydrogen and helium gas. Because the cloud was spinning, it flattened into a frisbee shape, just like a ball of pizza dough becomes...more
If you had a quiz question in school that asked what year Neptune was discovered, you'd probably choose 1846. But Neptune wasn't discovered the way all the other planets in our solar system were. Astronomers...more
The picture shows places on Jupiter which are hot. Jupiter is a very warm body in space, as shown in the picture, and this warmth is associated with the energy of Jupiter. Neptune has also been found to...more