Uranus, Neptune, and Exoplanets

Andrew P. Ingersoll

in Planetary Climates

Published by Princeton University Press

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780691145044
Published online October 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781400848232
Uranus, Neptune, and Exoplanets

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This chapter focuses on the climates of Uranus, Neptune, and exoplanets. Uranus spins on its side, which allows a comparison between sunlight and rotation for their effects on weather patterns. In contrast to Venus, Uranus is only weakly affcted by tides from the Sun because it is so far away. Models of planet accretion give a gradual clumping of small bodies into medium-sized bodies and then into large bodies, until finally only a few large bodies are left. The final collisions, which involved these large bodies, would have been quite violent and were capable of knocking Uranus on its side. After providing an overview of Uranus's rotation, insensitivity to seasonal cycles, and wind profile, the chapter considers Neptune's winds, effective radiating temperature, and Great Dark Spot. It also explains the radial velocity method and the transit method of detecting extrasolar planets.

Keywords: climate; Uranus; Neptune; weather; seasonal cycles; winds; Great Dark Spot; radial velocity method; exoplanets; extrasolar planets

Chapter.  3992 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Climate Change

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