36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 5 Uranus and Neptune
Oral, Monday, November 8, 2004, 1:30-3:00pm, Clark

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[5.08] Tracking a Long-lived Bright Feature in Uranusí Southern Hemisphere

K. Rages (SETI Inst.), H. B. Hammel (Space Science Inst.), M. Showalter (Stanford U.), I. de Pater (UC-Berkeley), S. G. Gibbard (LLNL), G. W. Lockwood (Lowell Obs.)

In October 2003, a large bright feature was detected at 1.2 and 1.6 micron (J and H filters) at a latitude of 34\deg S latitude on Uranus (Hammel et al. 2004, submitted to Icarus). The same feature had been previously seen in July and August 2003 in Hubble ACS images of Uranus at wavelengths shortward of 1 micron; it is detectable down to 475 nm. Observations now span more than 15 months, and include further near-IR observations in July 2004 (see abstract by Hammel et al. this volume) and ACS images in September and November 2003 and in June and August 2004. This is the first discrete feature in Uranus' southern hemisphere to be identified and tracked for more than a few days. We will present details of its temporal evolution, including morphological development, latitudinal drift, and changes in rotation period.

This work was funded through the Space Telescope Science Institute.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.