Neptune - Changes in Great Dark Spot - PIA00047.
Three features on Neptune: Great Dark Spot,
Neptune's Dark Spot (D2) at High Resolution
Neptune - Changes in Great Dark Spot - PIA00047.

Neptune - Changes in Great Dark Spot - PIA00047.

Courtesy of NASA/JPL

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00047


The bright cirrus-like clouds of Neptune change rapidly, often forming and dissipating over periods of several to tens of hours. In this sequence spanning two rotations of Neptune (about 36 hours) Voyager 2 observed cloud evolution in the region around the Great Dark Spot (GDS) at an effective resolution of about 100 km (62 mi) per pixel. The surprisingly rapid changes which occur over the 18 hours separating each panel shows that in this region Neptune's weather is perhaps as dynamic and variable as that of the Earth. However, the scale is immense by our standards the Earth and the GDS are of similar size and in Neptune's frigid atmosphere, where temperatures are as low as 55 degrees Kelvin (-360 F), the cirrus clouds are composed of frozen methane rather than Earth's crystals of water ice.