Research Reveals Why Neptune is Bluer Than Uranus

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right)
Uranus (left) and Neptune (right). Photo: noirlab

Despite their physical resemblance and atmospheric composition, the ice giants Neptune and Uranus differ by their shades of blue.

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For an international group of astronomers have discovered an explanation for this color variation.

Using images taken by terrestrial telescopes and by Hubble, the researchers analyzed aerosol layers at different heights in the atmospheres of the two planets.

In both planets, it is in the intermediate layer where methane ice turns into methane snow showers.

According to the astronomers, mist particles are what impact the color the most.

But in Neptune, the more turbulent atmosphere prevents this mist from accumulating, causing Uranus to have a more whitish shade of blue.

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