Kepler’s observations of Neptune help pave the way for weather studies beyond the solar system.
A little light can illuminate a lot from afar. For Neptune, our eighth planet in the solar system it may mean getting a weather forecast. In 2014, NASA’s Kepler telescope observed small changes in reflected light off of Neptune’s atmosphere. These slight changes gave scientists clues about Neptune’s cloud cover which produces weather. The variations in light from Neptune are similar to those seen on other planets Kepler keeps its eye on: exoplanets. The similarity suggests that Kepler may be able to see evidence of weather on planets far outside our solar system. Watch the videos to learn more.