When NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune in 1989, it observed large, dark storms inhabiting the distant planet's atmosphere. Since then, scientists have monitored Neptune using the Hubble Space Telescope and seen new storms develop.
But unlike Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm which has been roiling for at least two centuries, the storms brewing on the windy planet Neptune come and go in just a few years — and now, for the first time, researchers have seen one begin to disappear, NASA officials said in a statement. [The Amazing Blue Planet Neptune in Photos]
The giant, dark storms on Neptune are impermanent features on the distant planet.
"It looks like we're capturing the demise of this dark vortex, and it's different from what well-known studies led us to expect," Michael Wong, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley and lead author on the new work, said in the statement. Previous simulations sugges...