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New Discovery Reveals Why Uranus and Neptune Are Different Colors


Published on: June 1, 2022,

Neptune and Uranus are both planets of solar system. The planets Neptune and Uranus have much in common. They have similar masses, sizes and atmospheric compositions but they appear notably different. Neptune has a distinctly bluer color whereas Uranus is pale shade of cyan.  New research suggests that a layer of concentrated haze that exists on both planets in thicker on Uranus that Neptune. This is why no haze in the atmosphere of Neptune and Uranus would appear almost equally blue.


Previous investigations of these planets had focused on the appearance of the atmosphere at only specific wavelengths. But the new model consists of multiple atmospheric layers matches observations from both planets across a wide range of wavelengths. Also the new model includes haze particles within deeper layers that had previously been thought to contain only clouds of methane and hydrogen ices.


“This is the first model to simultaneously fit observations of reflected sunlight from ultraviolet to near infrared wavelengths,” explained Irwin who is the lead author of a paper presenting this result. He added, “It’s first to explain the difference in visible color between Uranus and Neptune.


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