As Uranus hits mid-summer, the "polar-cap region" is easier to spot.
Every year, the Hubble space telescope takes photos of the solar system's gas giants as part of a programme to help better understand the four planets. The new data, captured during the autumn of 2018, are providing important new insights into the seasonal variations on both Neptune and Uranus.More news: Foot Locker Announces $100M Strategic Investment In GOAT Group
"The November 2018 image of Uranus occurs at a time 10 years after the equinox, when the northern hemisphere was just emerging into spring sunlight after spending decades in polar winter", Leigh Fletcher, an astronomer at the University of Leicester, told Gizmodo. The feature is roughly 6,800 miles (10,944 km) across.
To the right of the dark feature are bright white "companion clouds". Such clouds form because the storm plows through surrounding air high above the storm, cooling it off and causing it to freeze.
The causes of these dark spots is a mystery, but because they're only seen at the bluest wavelengths, "my money is on some sort of coloration of the clouds", said Irwin.
NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) announced the discovery of the storm on Thursday. Now the gas giant's strongest storm, which also holds the record for the longest storm of this type, is the Great Red Spot, which scientists believe has raged for at least 400 years. Since the Hubble started tracking the storms, increased cloud activity has been a regular precursor to their appearance. Researchers suspect that the storms creep upward through the planet's atmosphere, lifting the ingredients of deeper layers of the atmosphere to the top. The giant is sporting a wide white spot across its north pole.More news: VP Mohadi Now President As Mnangagwa In Ethiopia For AU Summit
The space observatory also got a fresh look at a "giant polar cap" storm on Uranus that is swirling around the planet's North Pole.
The agency added: "Just as meteorologists can not predict the weather on Earth by studying a few snapshots, astronomers can not track atmospheric trends on solar system planets without regularly repeated observations".
Because of the distance at which Uranus orbits the Sun, the planet's years are a lot different than we experience here on Earth. This polar hood may have formed by seasonal changes in atmospheric flow. This suggests that the systems take a while to build and likely find their roots deeper in the planet's atmosphere, and perhaps even deeper than that in its superheated ocean-like mantle of water, ammonia, and methane-ices. But as time progressed, a reflective band-whitish against Uranus' blue hues-began to appear encircling the north pole.
"It is a mystery how bands like these are confined to such narrow widths because Uranus and Neptune have very broad westward-blowing wind jets", the agency added.More news: Good Friday agreement in peril over Brexit, Tony Blair warns