Changes in solar activity affect the color and the formation of clouds around the planet. This is reported by researchers from the universities of Oxford and Reading.
The ice planet Uranus lives in a great distance from the Sun, which spends 84 years on one orbital path. Scientists have noticed that in a sunny 11-year cycle, at certain moments, the planet appears brighter or dimmer.
The atmosphere of Uranus is one of the coldest in our system. But she still has clouds and ice. Changes in brightness hint at some processes in the cloud cover. It turns out that there are two whole mechanisms.
One is chemical and is caused by the fact that fluctuating levels of UV light change the color of particles in the atmosphere. And the second is due to high-speed particles outside the solar system - galactic cosmic rays. Scientists used data from terrestrial telescopes, as well as data from rays measured by the Voyager-2 apparatus. The sun has a magnetic field that repels cosmic rays from the system. But the level of protection falls when solar activity reaches its lowest value every 11 years, skipping radiation.
The atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune are large-scale cloud chambers capable of responding to incoming energy particles. And the effects can be observed even from Earth with a distance of a billion miles.