Africa-Press – Cape verde. Far from being over, Neptune’s summer lasts for years as the planet makes a full lapse around the sun in just 165 Earth years. Scientists are hoping to uncover some answers to the unexplained phenomenon in the remaining time before the start of the autumn season on the planet.
Scientists, who have been monitoring the weather changes on the Neptune for almost two decades have noticed an “unexpected” change – despite being in the middle of its “summer season”, the planet’s south pole first cooled down by 8 degrees and then grew back by 11 degrees Celsius.
The scientists have been monitoring the planet’s thermal-infrared images for the past 17 years, and between 2003 and 2018 they noticed a drop in temperatures. However, between 2018 and 2020 the temperature rapidly grew back.
Mind that summer lasts longer on Neptune, which makes a full rotation around Sun in 165 Earth years. The season is still not over after almost two decades of observation and will last around 40 Earth years.
The researchers do not have a solid explanation to the phenomenon they observed yet; however, it’s speculated that it could be the result of the planet’s under-researched chemistry, specific weather patterns or the influence of the sun. Either way, the scientists hope to gain some more insight into the matter before the season is over – after all they can’t wait 120 more years for another summer on Neptune. The results of their research were published in the Planetary Science journal.