Feeds

Feeling the heat at Neptune's south pole

Long, hot, summer at -190°C

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The south pole isn't where you'd ordinarily think of going for your summer holidays, but that is because you are from Earth, not Neptune.

Thermal images of Neptune's hot south pole

Thermal images of Neptune's hot south pole.

Neptunians looking to catch a little heat are all heading south, where according to new images from the European Southern Observatory, temperatures are anything up to 10 degrees higher than anywhere else on the planet.

This makes sense when you consider that Neptune's southern hemisphere is currently basking in sunshine, as it has been for the last 40 years. A Neptunian year lasts roughly 165 Earth years, so summer is distinctly longer.

Holidaymakers venturing to Neptune's south pole will also be able to bask in balmy breezes filled with gaseous methane. Elsewhere on the planet the organic molecule is frozen out.

Glenn Orton, lead author of the paper reporting the results. "This solves a long-standing problem of identifying the source of Neptune's high stratospheric methane abundances."

Of course, the situation will change come winter time (about 80 years from now if you're wanting to get in touch with your travel agent). The hotspot will move up to the northern hemisphere and the methane will leak out of the stratosphere there instead.

The new observations have also revealed odd "mid-latitude" hotspots. The researchers suggest these are caused by upwellings of hot gas from the interior of the planet. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.