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Hubble tracks the rotation of Uranus at 13:20, 16:34, and 21:23, UT 14 August, 1994

Textual information about the Hubble discovery



  1. How many degrees of longitude are between each line of longitude on the diagram?
    ( Count the number of longitude lines. Divide 360 by that number.)

  2. How many degrees does spot B move?
    ((Count the number of lines that the spot moves through and multiply by the number of degrees between each line (what you figured in #1 above.)

  3. How long does it take spot B to move 360 degrees?
    (Between the first and second picture, the time elapsed was 16:34-13:20 = 3:14 hours or 194 minutes.)
    You calculated the number of degrees the spot moved in 194 minutes, so multiply 360 x 194, then divide the result by that number of degrees to get the rotation rate (time it takes to rotate once).

  4. How does the rotation rate of Uranus compare to Earth's? Jupiter's?

  5. What difference in rotation rate will you get if the tilt of the planet is taken into consideration?

  6. Since you measured Uranus's rotation rate by following an atmospheric cloud formation for a couple of hours, is it possible that the cloud moved at a different rate than the surface of the planet? Does that happen on Earth? Can you think of a better way of calculating the rotation rate of Uranus? If you get any good ideas, please let us know!

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