Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
3:30 PM, Friday, November 5, 2010
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building
Dr. Raymond P. LeBeau
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Saint Louis University
Dark Spot Dynamics and Bright Companion Clouds on the Ice Giants
For many, the images of Uranus and Neptune have remained frozen
since their encounters with Voyager 2 two decades ago.
However, much has changed in the past twenty years,
with both planets exhibiting surprisingly active weather
despite the extreme cold in the outer solar system.
One of the most prominent atmospheric features
of the ice giants are their large vortices called Dark Spots.
These large vortices are similar to the Great Red Spot
of Jupiter, but unlike the Great Red Spot, these Dark Spots
can drift across the visage of the planet like hurricanes
on Earth, often accompanied by long-lived methane clouds
called Bright Companions. This talk will present
current progress in understanding the weather
systems of these planets, in particular
focusing on the Dark Spots and their companion clouds.
Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM