An atmospheric rotation period of Neptune determined from methane-band imaging

H. B. Hammel and M. W. Buie. Icarus 72, 62-68 (1987).


Discrete atmospheric cloud features are noted in 8900-Angstrom methane band filter observations of Neptune, yielding a rotation period of 17.86 +/- 0.02 hr on the basis of the two transits observed for a southern hemisphere bright feature during May and June, 1986. This period is in keeping with previous cloud motion observations. The images obtained also indicate that bright northern hemisphere features observed as recently as 1983 have disappeared, thereby substantially changing the overall distribution of the light reflected from the planetary disk.

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