How Far Is Neptune From The Sun? Cool Planet Facts For Curious Kids | Kidadl


How Far Is Neptune From The Sun? Cool Planet Facts For Curious Kids

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Neptune is the eighth planet in our solar system.

This blue planet is 17 times the mass of the Earth. Due to the removal of Pluto, which is now known as a dwarf planet, Neptune has become the most distant planet from the Sun.

Neptune was officially discovered in 1846 by Johann Galle at the Berlin Observatory. However, the presence of this planet in our solar system had already been detected by Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams who were both mathematicians. Therefore, the credit for the discovery of Neptune is given to all three of them. Like Saturn, Neptune has a ring system too. Neptune has five rings in total and they are named after the people who discovered some significant aspects about Neptune. Due to the dark color of the rings, it is quite difficult to see them properly. Neptune itself is difficult to view even with an advanced space telescope. Interestingly, Galileo once observed Neptune through his telescope in 1612. Another fascinating fact about Neptune is its moon Triton. It is the largest moon out of the total 13 of Neptune's moons. Apart from being the largest moon, this moon is also interesting because it rotates in the opposite direction from other moons.

Once you finish reading this article, you might also be interested in learning how to whistle and how many heads tall is a man here on Kidadl?

How far is Neptune from the Sun?

Like Earth, Neptune completes an orbit around the Sun in our solar system. Similar to the orbit of Earth and other planets, Neptune's orbit is also present in an elliptical orbit. Orbits that are known to be elliptical have an oval shape.

The distance between the planet with an elliptical orbit and the Sun is not the same during the period of one single revolution. Therefore, Neptune does not have a fixed distance between itself and the Sun. The average distance established between Neptune and the Sun is 2.8 billion mi (4.5 billion km).

Due to the oval shape of the orbit, there are two important times during the revolution of Neptune around the Sun. The first point is when Neptune is the closest to the Sun. This is called perihelion and Neptune's distance from the Sun at this point is around 2.77 billion mi (4.45 billion km). Meanwhile, when the planet is the farthest from the Sun, it is called aphelion. The distance between Neptune and the Sun during this period is 2.82 billion mi (4.55 billion km).

How far is Neptune from the Sun in light years?

Neptune can be considered to be the most distant planet in the solar system if Pluto is not counted. Therefore, its distance from the Sun can be said to be the biggest one among all the planets in our solar system.

Neptune's exact distance from the Sun changes at intervals during its revolution. However, what is this distance in terms of light years? A light year is a unit of measurement utilized to measure various distances in space. Approximately, a light year is equivalent to about 5.88 trillion mi (9.46 trillion km). In terms of light years, the distance between Neptune and the Sun can be said to be 0.00047 light-years.

The gas giant, Neptune, gets its blue color from the methane present in its atmosphere.

Can humans travel to Neptune?

Although the distance between Neptune and Earth is still less than that of Neptune and the Sun, it is still very far in space. To date, no human has been able to reach Neptune.

The only time something from Earth even came close to Neptune was a spacecraft that provided some really interesting pictures of the planet. Voyager 2 of NASA is not only the second spacecraft to travel into interstellar space, but it is also the only one that has ever passed close to Neptune. Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 and reached Neptune in 1989. In total, Voyager 2 took 12 Earth years and 5 days to reach Neptune and it came as close to the planet as 3,000 mi (4,950 km) around Neptune's north poles.

Moreover, as part of the planets known as gas giants, Neptune is made up of ice and gas. It does not have a solid surface to land on. If a human tried to step on the surface of Neptune, they would most probably keep sinking instead of finding solid ground to stand on. It is also the coldest planet in our solar system. The climate is too harsh for the unprotected skin of a human. It would be extremely difficult for humans to not only reach Neptune but also to enter the inner atmosphere.

How long is a day on Neptune?

Being closer to the Sun, Earth takes 165 days to complete a revolution around the star. Meanwhile, Neptune takes 165 Earth years to complete one revolution.

The length of a day is calculated by the rotational speed of the planet. The rotational speed of Neptune is 1.66 mi/s (2.68 km/s). Therefore, it takes 16 hours for Neptune to complete a single rotation on its axis. This makes the day length on Neptune be 16 hours while on Earth it is 24 hours. On an interesting note, Neptune rotates faster on its axis than when it revolves in its orbit around the Sun.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked learning how far Neptune is from the Sun, then why not take a look at Pangolin vs. armadillo faceoff: differences between predators revealed! or What are balloons made of? Cool material questions answered for kids!

<p>Shafaque has a Bachelor's degree in English language and Literature from Sophia Girls' College with a Master's degree in Library and Information Sciences from Shreemati Nasthibai Damodar Thackersey Women's College. She has a strong command of written and verbal English, along with proficiency in Hindi, French, Urdu, and Korean. With extensive knowledge of English literature and creative writing, Shafaque has completed numerous creative writing courses online and has previously worked as a content writer at Scripto.</p>

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