Interesting facts about Neptune

neptune

Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun making it the most distant in the solar system. This gas giant planet may have formed much closer to the Sun in early solar system history before migrating to its present position.

Due to its blue coloration, Neptune was named after the Roman god of the Sea.

It takes Neptune 164.8 Earth years to orbit the Sun. On 11 July 2011, Neptune completed its first full orbit since its discovery in 1846.

Neptune spins on its axis very rapidly. Its equatorial clouds take 18 hours to make one rotation. This is because Neptune is not solid body.

Neptune is 3.9 times bigger and has 17 times as much mass compared to the Eart.

neptune vs earth

Neptune is a ball of gas and ice, probably with a rocky core. There’s no way you could actually stand on the surface of Neptune without just sinking in. However, if you could stand on the surface of Neptune, you would notice something amazing. The force of gravity pulling you down is almost exactly the same as the force of gravity you feel walking here on Earth. The gravity of Neptune is only 17% stronger than Earth gravity.

The atmosphere of Neptune is made of hydrogen and helium, with some methane. The methane absorbs red light, which makes the planet appear a lovely blue. High, thin clouds drift in the upper atmosphere.

Neptune has dark spots similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. These are areas of high atmospheric pressure which force clouds of methane gas high up into the atmosphere, appearing like cirrus (thin, whispy) clouds on Earth. However, these spots disappear and reappear on different parts of the planet, unlike Jupiter’s spot.

neptune storms

One of the largest storms ever seen was recorded in 1989. It was called the Great Dark Spot. It lasted about five years.

Neptune has 14 moons.The most interesting moon is Triton, a frozen world that is spewing nitrogen ice and dust particles out from below its surface. It was likely captured by the gravitational pull of Neptune. It is probably the coldest world in the solar system.

The largest Neptunian moon, Triton, was discovered just 17 days after Neptune itself was discovered.

neptune moon triton

Triton is slowly getting closer to Neptune. Eventually, it will get so close that it may get torn apart by Neptune’s gravity and possibly form rings more spectacular than Saturn’s.

Neptune has an average surface temperature of -214°C ( -353°F).

The coldest temperatures measured in the Solar System -230°c (-382°F) have been recorded on Neptune’s moon, Triton.

In Neptune’s atmosphere, there is a large white cloud that moves around rather quickly. The “scooting” of this cloud around the atmosphere has led it to be named “Scooter.”

Only one spacecraft has flown by Neptune.In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft swept past the planet. It returned the first close-up images of the Neptune system. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has also studied this planet, as have a number of ground-based telescopes.

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