Pictures of Uranus have been just a blob due to its distance from Earth. Now some much better images have been acquired at the Keck Observatory.
This is due to a new technique which brings a much sharper focus onto Uranus. These new techniques involved using an infrared detector. Smaller more widely distributed weather features which allow scientists to identify the winds which gives the planets pattern.
Uranus’s atmosphere is deep blue green with abundant hydrogen, helium and methane. Winds blow east to west at speeds up to 550 miles an hour. Cloud top temperatures are in the the -360°F range which is cold enough to freeze the methane.
The planets weather is puzzling for scientists. They believe that the driving force for the winds is mostly solar energy because there is no detectable internal energy source. The Sun is 900 times weaker there than on earth though. This is because Uranus is 30 times further from the Sun which makes for less intense solar energy.