7 amazing Neptune facts

Neptune is one of the most interesting planets. Today you’ll find out what makes it so fascinating!

Adults and kids alike have always been interested in the Solar System. The Sun is one of its components. Planets are the other objects which orbit it. There are 9 planets in total. One of them is Neptune, which we’re discussing in this post.

  1. There are some very exciting facts to discover about Neptune. For starters, you should know that this planet is the 8th one from the Sun. It is the farthest planet from our Sun, too. Moreover, Neptune is a bit bigger than Uranus, but smaller than these: Saturn and Jupiter. Astronomers named this planet after Neptune, god of the sea in ancient Rome. The existence of this object was made public in 1845. It was then observed from a Berlin observatory on September 23rd 1846. Johann Galle along with Urbain Le Verrier were the ones to spot it back then. Before them, Galileo Galilei made a sketch of the planet; however, he thought it was a star because it moved so slowly.
  2. Neptune’s diameter is 29,297 miles (47,150 km). For comparison’s sake, Earth’s diameter is this: 7928 miles (12,760 km). The mass of this planet is as follows: 102,410,000,000,000,000 billion kg (which is 17.15 times the Earth’s own mass). Neptune needs 165 in Earth years to orbit around the Sun. The planet’s atmosphere contains these: 80% hydrogen, 19.0% helium and 1.5% methane. That’s why, Neptune is one of a total of 4 gas giants. By mass, it’s made of 60-70% ice, 25% rock, and 5-15% hydrogen and helium. Neptune’s mantle contains water, ammonia and methane ices. The planet has a core made of magnesium-silicate and iron.

    Earth-Neptune-compared

    A comparison between Earth and Neptune diameters

  3. Coming back to 1846: Neptune’s first moon was discovered, also. 13 more moons have been discovered since then. The first moon was called Triton. This is one of the most exciting moons of Neptune. What makes it special is the fact that it’s frozen. Its surface lets out dust particles and nitrogen ice. Triton is also interesting because of this: it orbits Neptune in the opposite direction of the planet’s rotation on its own axis. Nereid, another moon, was first seen in 1949. Its name comes from a Greek sea nymph. The remainder of Neptune’s moons were spotted in the 1980s. It is estimated that Triton will one day create more astonishing rings compared to the ones Saturn has. That will happen because this moon comes closer and closer to the planet. The coldest temperature ever recorded in our Solar System belongs to Triton: -230 °C.
  4. Neptune’s climate is one of the most active. This planet was hit by a large storm in 1989. This phenomenon lasted till 1994 and its name was Great Dark Spot.
  5. Neptune has a surface temperature of -201 °C. The planet has 5 known rings. Their composition looks like this: ice particles and dust grains covered in a carbon-based material. Neptune also holds the record of strongest winds: 2,400kph. The planet’s cloud cover is blue. Its magnetic field is 27x powerful than our planet’s.Neptune-rings
  6. Neptune received the visit of a spacecraft for the first time in 1989. The name of the spacecraft was Voyager 2. When it came back to Earth, people could see photographs up close of Neptune’s system. Various telescopes have been used to study the planet. One of them was the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
  7. Neptune has an equatorial circumference of 155,600 km. Its polar diameter is 48,682 km; the planet’s equatorial diameter is 49,528 km. Since it was discovered, Neptune completed its first ever orbit around the Sun in 2011. This interesting planet is 2700 million miles (4 345 228 800 km) away from our Earth. Its distance from the Sun is 30.1 Astronomical Units (which means 2793 million miles 0r 4495 million km).

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