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Astronomers perplexed by plummeting temperatures in Neptune’s atmosphere

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An image of Neptune captured by Voyager 2 in 1989. New infrared images of the planet has revealed some surprising temperature changes in its atmosphere over the last two decades. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Astronomers have found a perplexing pattern in Neptune’s environment: Ever because the planet’s southern hemisphere summer time started virtually 20 years in the past, atmospheric temperatures on this area have plummeted, and scientists aren’t certain why.

Neptune is essentially the most distant planet within the solar system, round 30 occasions farther from the sun than Earth is. Identical to each different planet orbiting the solar, Neptune has 4 distinct seasons: spring, summer time, fall and winter. Nevertheless, as a result of Neptune takes round 165 years to orbit the solar, every of those seasons lasts round 40 years. Neptune’s southern hemisphere has been experiencing summer time, the interval when it’s tilted towards the solar, since 2005.