Introduction

Dark, cold, and whipped by supersonic winds, ice huge Neptune is the eighth and most remote planet in our solar system. More than 30 time as much from the sunlight as Earth, Neptune is the only planet in our solar device not visible to the naked eye. In 2011 Neptune perfect its an initial 165-year orbit due to the fact that its discovery in 1846.

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Neptune is so much from the sunlight that high noon top top the big blue earth would seem choose dim twilight to us. The heat light us see here on our home planet is around 900 times as bright as sunshine on Neptune.

Namesake

Namesake

The ice gigantic Neptune to be the very first planet situated through mathematics calculations. Utilizing predictions made by Urbain Le Verrier, Johann Galle discovered the earth in 1846. The earth is called after the roman god that the sea, as said by Le Verrier.

Potential for Life

Potential for Life

Neptune's setting is not conducive come life as we understand it. The temperatures, pressures, and also materials that characterize this planet are most likely too extreme and also volatile because that organisms to it is adapted to.

Size and Distance

Size and also Distance

With a radius of 15,299.4 mile (24,622 kilometers), Neptune is around four times more comprehensive than Earth. If earth were the size of a nickel, Neptune would be around as huge as a baseball.

From an average distance of 2.8 billion mile (4.5 billion kilometers), Neptune is 30 expensive units away from the Sun. One expensive unit (abbreviated together AU), is the distance from the sun to Earth. Native this distance, the takes sunlight 4 hrs to travel from the sun to Neptune.


A 3D design of Neptune, an ice large planet. Credit: rebab.net Visualization an innovation Applications and advance (VTAD)› Download Options
Orbit and also Rotation

Orbit and also Rotation

One job on Neptune takes about 16 hours (the time it takes because that Neptune to revolve or turn once). And also Neptune provides a complete orbit about the sun (a year in Neptunian time) in about 165 planet years (60,190 earth days).

Sometimes Neptune is even farther from the sunlight than dwarf world Pluto. Pluto's very eccentric, oval-shaped orbit brings it inside Neptune's orbit because that a 20-year period every 248 planet years. This switch, in i beg your pardon Pluto is closer to the sunlight than Neptune, happened many recently from 1979 come 1999. Pluto deserve to never crash into Neptune, though, because for every 3 laps Neptune takes roughly the Sun, Pluto makes two. This repeating pattern stays clear of close viewpoints of the 2 bodies.

Neptune’s axis of rotation is tilted 28 levels with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun, i m sorry is comparable to the axial tilts that Mars and also Earth. This method that Neptune experience seasons just like we carry out on Earth; however, because its year is for this reason long, each of the four seasons lasts for over 40 years.

Moons

Moons

Neptune has actually 14 recognized moons. Neptune's largest moon Triton was found on October 10, 1846, by william Lassell, just 17 work after Johann Gottfried Galle found the planet. Due to the fact that Neptune was named for the roman inn god of the sea, that is moons are named for assorted lesser sea gods and also nymphs in Greek mythology.

Triton is the only large moon in the solar device that one its planet in a direction opposite come the planet's rotation (a retrograde orbit), which argues that it may once have actually been an independent object that Neptune captured. Triton is incredibly cold, with surface temperatures roughly minus 391 levels Fahrenheit (minus 235 levels Celsius). And also yet, regardless of this deep freeze in ~ Triton, Voyager 2 discovered geysers spewing icy product upward more than 5 miles (8 kilometers). Triton's thin atmosphere, additionally discovered by Voyager, has actually been detect from earth several time since, and also is growing warmer, but scientists execute not yet understand why.

Rings

Rings


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This Voyager 2 image, taken in 1989, was the very first to display Neptune's rings in detail. Credit: rebab.net/JPL

Neptune contends least 5 main rings and also four significant ring arcs the we recognize of so far. Beginning near the planet and also moving outward, the main rings are named Galle, Leverrier, Lassell, Arago, and also Adams. The rings space thought come be relatively young and also short-lived.

Neptune's ring system likewise has peculiar clumps that dust referred to as arcs. Four prominent arcs named Liberté (Liberty), Egalité (Equality), Fraternité (Fraternity), and Courage room in the outermost ring, Adams. The arcs are strange because the legislations of motion would predict the they would spread out evenly rather than remain clumped together. Scientists currently think the gravitational impacts of Galatea, a moon simply inward indigenous the ring, stabilizes this arcs.

Source: U.S. Geology Survey, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, Planetary Names: Ring and also Ring space Nomenclature, https://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Page/Rings.NameDistance native Planet's CenterRadial Width
Galle~26,000 mile (41,900 kilometers)9.3 miles (15 kilometers)
Leverrier~33,100 miles (53,200 kilometers)9.3 miles (15 kilometers)
Lassell~34,400 mile (55,400 kilometers)-
Arago~35,800 mile (57,600 kilometers)-
Adams~39,100 mile (62,930 kilometers)

Formation

Formation

Neptune take it shape when the rest of the solar device formed around 4.5 exchange rate years ago when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to end up being this ice cream giant. Like its neighborhood Uranus, Neptune likely formed closer come the Sun and moved come the external solar system around 4 billion years ago.

Structure

Structure

Neptune is among two ice cream giants in the outer solar mechanism (the other is Uranus). Most (80% or more) of the planet's massive is made up of a hot thick fluid of "icy" materials – water, methane, and also ammonia – above a small, rocky core. That the gigantic planets, Neptune is the densest.

Scientists think there could be an s of super hot water under Neptune's cold clouds. It does not boil away due to the fact that incredibly high pressure keeps it locked inside.

Surface

Surface

Neptune walk not have actually a hard surface. Its atmosphere (made up mainly of hydrogen, helium, and methane) extend to an excellent depths, gradually merging into water and other melted ices end a heavier, solid core with around the exact same mass as Earth.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Neptune's environment is consisted of mostly that hydrogen and helium with simply a little bit that methane. Neptune's ar Uranus is a blue-green shade due to such atmospheric methane, however Neptune is a an ext vivid, brighter blue, therefore there have to be one unknown ingredient that reasons the more intense color.

Neptune is our solar system's windiest world. Regardless of its good distance and low power input indigenous the Sun, Neptune's winds can be 3 times more powerful than Jupiter's and also nine times more powerful than Earth's. These winds whip clouds of frozen methane across the earth at speeds of much more than 1,200 miles per hour (2,000 kilometers every hour). Even Earth's most powerful winds struggle only around 250 miles per hour (400 kilometers per hour).

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In 1989 a large, oval-shaped storm in Neptune's southern hemisphere referred to as the "Great Dark Spot" was large enough to contain the whole Earth. The storm has since disappeared, but brand-new ones have appeared on different parts that the planet.

Magnetosphere

Magnetosphere

The main axis the Neptune's magnetic ar is tipped end by about 47 degrees contrasted with the planet's rotation axis. Like Uranus, whose magnetic axis is tilted around 60 levels from the axis the rotation, Neptune's magnetosphere undergoes wild variations during each rotation because of this misalignment. The magnetic field of Neptune is around 27 times much more powerful 보다 that that Earth.​