The Hubble Space Telescope has completed what NASA calls its “annual grand tour of the Solar System,” capturing stunning views of the four gas giants – Jupiter on 4 September; Saturn on 12 September; Uranus on 25 October; and Neptune on 7 September. Even though passing spacecraft and orbiters have sent back close-up views of all four worlds and multiple moons during visits over the past half century, the cold atmospheres of the gas giants are always changing. Using Hubble to keep tabs on Earth’s outer Solar System neighbours provides valuable insights into the dynamic processes at work under the cloudtops that shape weather patterns and seasons.
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dispersing from a warm, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a nearby star. It may offer clues as to how hot super-Earths — massive, hot versions of Earth — are born around other stars.