Neptune’s spots (vortices) have been firstly found in the late 80s when NASA’s Voyager 2 reached to the big blue planet. In 2015, NASA spotted another vortex – SDS-2015. In opposition to the NASA expectations, the Neptun vortex is dying slowly.
About the SDS-2015 vortex
The vortex was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015 while it was observing the Neptune’s atmosphere.
Big as China in size, the vortex was expected to offer new information about the Neptune vortices’ characteristics. However, the scientists have only been able to observe that the vortex was made by colossal amounts of hydrogen sulfide.
Such vortices are frequently forming in the Neptune’s atmosphere when clouds of air and gas twist and freeze. Then, the frozen mass remains in the planet’s atmosphere gathering all the materials and gases it encounters in its way.
The SDS-2015 vortex is dying
An observational study on the vortex was conducted by the astronomers at UC Berkeley and the University of Basque Country, in Spain.
They have kept the vortex under observation since its discovery in 2015 until late 2017 when they’ve noticed that the vortex was dying. They were expecting the vortex go away with spectacular cloud activity.
This study is the first ever to show a planetary spot’s dying stages.
“Many questions remain as to how dark vortices originate, what controls their drift and oscillation, how they interact with the environment, and how they eventually dissipate,” said one of the study’s author.
Theories on how such vortices appear
Nothing is crystal-clear in this regard.
However, there are some theories on how such vortices appear. Accordingly, it is possible that such vortices to form when significant differences occur between the speeds of the winds blowing from the East and the winds blowing from the West, on a short distance in the atmosphere.
In conclusion, SDS-2015 is not going away with a spectacular clouds activity as has been expected. Instead, the Neptune vortex is dying slowly.