A false color view of Uranus made from images takeThe usually calm planet of Uranus is seeing mega-storm activity this year that’s surprising and delighting the astronomy world as huge, bright cloud systems allow them to see detail in the planet’s atmosphere. “The weather on Uranus is incredibly active,” Imke de Pater, professor and chair of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, told NASA. He leads Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory team that identified the activity. “This type of activity would have been expected in 2007, when Uranus’s once every 42-year equinox occurred and the sun shined directly on the equator,” co-investigator Heidi Hammel of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy added. “But we predicted that such activity would have died down by now. Why we see these incredible storms now is beyond anybody’s guess.” The Keck Observatory team found eight mega-storms that occurred on Aug. 5 and 6, including one that was the brightest ever seen on the planet.  The excitement about the unusual activity spread to amateur astronomers who were able to see the storms, as well. More