Processed image copyright Ted Stryk, raw data courtesy STScI / Heidi Hammel
Uranus from Hubble WFC3 on December 25, 2011
Astronomers exercised a "Hubble Target of Opportunity" to image Uranus when ground-based photos revealed that bright storms had blossomed in its midlatitudes.
The storms are more visible when viewed through longer-wavelength filters at 889 and 906 nanometers, where methane gas is strongly absorbing. Where there are clouds containing condensed methane droplets, they appear bright against the very dark planet.
STSCI / Heidi Hammel / Emily Lakdawalla
Dark and bright spots on Uranus
These images are composed of two views of Uranus taken through methane band filters at 889 and 906 nanometers. In the right-hand image, a yellow circle shows the location of a dark spot with a companion bright spot.