While Uranus had a very bland appearance during the Voyager 2 encounter in 1986, we have seen that the activity of its atmosphere has increased greatly in the run-up to its Northern Spring Equinox in 2007. Observing how Uranus' appearance changes in the years after this equinox should reveal more about how the circulation of its atmosphere is driven. Advances in our understanding of Uranus' 5 ^m spectrum are also expected with planned ground-based observations, and improvements in the determination of Uranus D/H ratio are expected from recent Spitzer IRS observations. Finally, the far-IR capabilities of Herschel (Section 8.5.1), planned for launch in 2009, should also hopefully address the question of D/H enrichment in Uranus' atmosphere, and other issues.
Was this article helpful?