Skip navigation and go to content
Physics and Astronomy

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