EGU22-4149, updated on 27 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mid-Infrared Observations of Neptune and Uranus: Recent Discoveries and Future Opportunities

Michael T. Roman1, Leigh N. Fletcher1, Glenn S. Orton2, Thomas K. Greathouse3, Julianne Moses4, Naomi Rowe-Gurney5,6, Patrick G. J. Irwin7, Yasumasa Kasaba8, Takuya Fujiyoshi9, Heidi B. Hammel10, Imke de Pater11, James Sinclair2, and Arrate Antuñano12
Michael T. Roman et al.
  • 1School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK (
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
  • 3Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 4Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
  • 5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrochemistry Laboratory, Code 691, Greenbelt MD 20771 USA
  • 6Howard University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2355 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA
  • 7University of Oxford Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics, Department of Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, United Kingdom
  • 8Planetary Plasma and Atmospheric Research Center, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8578, Japan
  • 9Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North A’ohoku Pl., Hilo, HI 96720, USA
  • 10Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, 1212 New York Avenue NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20005, USA
  • 11Department of Astronomy, 501 Campbell Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 12UPV/EHU, Escuela Ingernieria de Bilbao, Fisica Aplicada, Spain

We present the primary results from our recent analyses of mid-infrared observations of Neptune and Uranus from ground-based telescopes, including VLT-VISIR, Subaru-COMICS, and Gemini-TEXES.  We discuss our recent discovery that Neptune’s stratospheric temperatures appear to be changing dramatically in just the past few years, following decades of cooling.  In contrast, we show that no evidence yet exists of long-term thermal changes in Uranus’ stratosphere, but mid-IR observations of Uranus are still extremely limited. We share new observations from VLT-VISIR, express the need for continued ground-based imaging, and discuss how the James Webb Space Telescope MIRI observations will help greatly advance our understanding of the Ice Giants in the years ahead.  

How to cite: Roman, M. T., Fletcher, L. N., Orton, G. S., Greathouse, T. K., Moses, J., Rowe-Gurney, N., Irwin, P. G. J., Kasaba, Y., Fujiyoshi, T., Hammel, H. B., de Pater, I., Sinclair, J., and Antuñano, A.: Mid-Infrared Observations of Neptune and Uranus: Recent Discoveries and Future Opportunities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4149,, 2022.