Neptuno, y su misterioso color azul

Neptuno, y su misterioso color azul

Cualquier fotografía del octavo planeta nos muestra un gigante de un color azulado que luce muy llamativo, pero nadie sabe realmente qué lo hace tan azul.

A primera vista parece obvio el culpable, metano. Neptuno tiene grandes cantidades de hidrógeno y helio, como el resto de planetas exteriores, pero esto gases son trasparentes por lo que el color viene de la presencia del metano (alrededor del 3%), un gas que absorbe las longitudes de onda más larga (rojo y naranja) mientras que refleja las ondas más cortas (azules).

Comparación entre la Tierra y Neptuno.

Entonces ¿Misterio resuelto? Pues no, ya que la presencia de metano explica el color verde azulado de Urano, pero no el azul marino de Neptuno.

En otras palabras, debe haber ‘algo’ más en la atmósfera de Neptuno que lo hace tan azul. ¿Qué podría ser? Ni idea, habría que explorar el octavo planeta con una sonda del tipo orbitador para salir de dudas.

Tal vez tengamos una sonda a Neptuno que partiría a principios de la década de 2030, llegando a su destino a principios de los años 2040.

Pedro Francisco Acosta Melo

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