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Clocking Neptune's spin by tracking atmospheric features

By abe10tiger
Jul 2, 2011
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  1. Science News

    A day on Neptune lasts precisely 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds, according to the first accurate measurement of its rotational period made by University of Arizona planetary scientist Erich Karkoschka.

    [​IMG]
    ÿÿIn this image, the colors and contrasts were modified to emphasize the planet's atmospheric features. The winds in Neptune's atmosphere can reach the speed of sound or more. Neptune's Great Dark Spot stands out as the most prominent feature on the left. Several features, including the fainter Dark Spot 2 and the South Polar Feature, are locked to the planet's rotation, which allowed Karkoschka to precisely determine how long a day lasts on Neptune. (Credit: Erich Karkoschka)

    Source:Science Daily
     

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