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Neptune has never had a dedicated space mission, but the Hubble Space Telescope is still shedding new light on the workings of the mysterious planet.

Driving the news: A new photo from the space telescope shows a long-lived storm — the dark spot in the upper center — first spotted in 2018 still going strong.

  • Scientists expected the large, dark storm would disappear because they saw it moving toward the planet's equator, where these types of storms usually fade.
  • However, the new Hubble observations show the dark spot — which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean — moved back above the equator unexpectedly.

The intrigue: The Hubble also found a smaller, dark storm in the planet's atmosphere in January. Scientists suspect it might be a broken-off bit of the larger storm.

  • "It was also in January that the dark vortex stopped its motion and started moving northward again," Michael Wong of the University of California at Berkeley, said in a statement. "Maybe by shedding that fragment, that was enough to stop it from moving towards the equator."

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jan 26, 2021 - Science

The coming land rush in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Space is the new Wild West. Nations and space companies are racing to come to a consensus on what they can own, mine and take possession of in outer space before competitors stake ground first.

Why it matters: Private companies are building their businesses on sending spacecraft to the Moon, asteroids and other objects in the coming years to eventually extract resources that will be used or sold.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

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