Buy this Neptune in Primary Colors space photo.
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These two NASA Hubble Space Telescope images provide views of weather on
opposite hemispheres of Neptune. Taken Aug. 13, 1996, with Hubble's Wide
Field Planetary Camera 2, these composite images blend information from
different wavelengths to bring out features of Neptune's blustery weather.
The predominant blue color of the planet is a result of the absorption of
red and infrared light by Neptune's methane atmosphere.
above most of the methane absorption appear white, while the very highest
clouds tend to be yellow-red as seen in the bright feature at the top of
the right-hand image. Neptune's powerful equatorial jet -- where winds
blow at nearly 900 mph -- is centered on the dark blue belt just south of
Neptune's equator. Farther south, the green belt indicates a region where
the atmosphere absorbs blue light.
The images are part of a series of images made by Hubble during nine orbits
spanning one 16.11-hour rotation of Neptune. The team making the
observation was directed by Lawrence Sromovsky of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center.
October 24, 1996
Credit: Lawrence Sromovsky (University of Wisconsin-Madison), NASA