The gas giant Neptune is described as a deep, dark, and intense blue sapphire planet with the possibility of diamond hailstones.
Neptune is the eighth and the last planet in our solar system. Neptune is the only planet whose presence was predicted using mathematical calculations.
It is placed at a distance of about 3o times that of Earth’s distance from the Sun. In 2011, Neptune completed its first orbit since 1846, when it was first discovered. This is due to its long elliptical path around the Sun.
Neptune was discarded by Galileo as a star because of its incredibly slow movement. Neptune can be considered the border of our solar system. Crossing Neptune, we are met with the Kuiper Belt, where the dwarf planet, Pluto, resides. Read along to find out about Neptune's moons, the largest moon of the distant planet in the solar system, giant planets in the solar system and their gravitational pull in the opposite direction, participation in Greek mythology, the Hubble space telescope, and more interesting facts about this distant planet.
Neptune, a planet with reddish-colored rings, has an average distance of 2.7-2.9 billion mi (4.3-4.7 billion km) from Earth, depending on where both the planets are in their orbits around the Sun.
After reading interesting facts about Neptune's moons, Neptune's atmosphere, and Neptune's gravity, also check out what color is Neptune and how far is Neptune from the Sun here at Kidadl.
Fantastic Facts About Neptune
Neptune is 2.8 billion mi (4.5 billion km) away from the Sun and has an elliptical orbit. Due to the distance, the years are longest on the ice giant Neptune, with one Neptunian year lasting 165 Earth years.
Neptune has a deep blue color. Neptune’s color is a result of the presence of methane in its atmosphere, which disperses the red light passing through as blue light. Researchers believe that the temperature and pressure within Neptune’s atmosphere are so high that they form diamond crystals.
Neptune’s rings are a result of dust and ice particles around the planet and are held together because of their gravity. These rings were first discovered in 1968 due to starlight that was getting blocked from the clumps in these rings.
The difference between the size of Neptune and Earth is four times. If we consider Earth as a cricket ball, then Neptune would be considered a soccer ball. In the entire solar system, the wind system on the surface of Neptune has the strongest force.
Neptune’s axis of rotation has an inclination similar to that of Earth and Mars. The angle of inclination of Neptune’s axis is 28 degrees. Neptune has different seasons as a result of the inclination. Each season on Neptune has a duration of 40 years. Days on Neptune are short, with only 16 hours as the rotation period of this gas giant, which is relatively short as compared to the Earth.
Wonderful Facts About Neptune
The equatorial diameter of Neptune is approximately 30,598 mi (49,244 km). The atmosphere of Neptune consists heavily of hydrogen and helium with minute amounts of methane.
Neptune has rings around it, and its moons are displaced all across these rings. Neptune has 14 moons that have been discovered and named. The largest of all the moons of Neptune is Triton.
Neptune is the smallest as compared to other gas giants: Saturn, Jupiter, and Uranus. Neptune was found by the astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle in 1846.
The word ‘Neptune’ means ‘sea king star’ in Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. Neptune is called ‘Dalain Van’ in Mongolian. The name Neptune was suggested by Le Verrier, who also tried to have the planet named after himself. In Māori, Neptune is named after the Māori god of the sea, named Tangaroa. It is named after the Greek sea god, Poseidon, in Morden Greek.
Best Facts About Neptune
The frozen aerosols, i.e., ice particles, present in the atmosphere granted the moniker 'ice giant' to Neptune. The Neptune moon, Triton, revolves in an elongated orbit but in the reverse direction. It is a hypothesis that Triton is a world of its own that somehow got caught in Neptune’s gravity. The surface of Triton consists of icy terrains.
Spots were witnessed on Neptune by Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to visit the distant planet. The gravity force on Neptune is 11.15 m/s2, 1.14 times the surface gravity of Earth.
Galileo was most likely to have seen Neptune as pinpointed in his drawings. He did not get the credit for this, though. Neptune was discovered and named Planet X by English mathematician John Couch Adams and French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. The sunlight that reaches Neptune's surface is 900 times less bright than that of Earth.
Unlike Earth, Neptune is an ice giant where temperatures are lowest in the solar system. Neptune's atmosphere is primarily composed of ammonia, methane, and water. The blue color of Neptune might make you think that it is a planet similar to Earth, but in reality, instead of water, the blue color of Neptune's atmosphere is due to the presence of methane in the atmosphere.
Neptune is one of the windiest planets in the solar system, with average wind speeds being 700 mph (1,120 kph.)
Interesting Facts About Neptune
The inner arrangement of Uranus and Neptune are very similar. Within the mantle of both these planets, warm and brisk dynamics of methane, water and ammonia reside.
Neptune has only been studied up close once in August 1989 by Voyager 2 spacecraft, the only spacecraft to have ever visited the gas giant. A Neptunian day is 16 hours long, i.e., it takes about 16 hours for Neptune to complete one rotation around its axis. It takes Neptune 165 Earth years to complete one revolution around the sun.
The elliptical orbit of the dwarf planet, Pluto, is approaching near the sun and might be nearer than Neptune. Neptune has been a subject of many fictional and pop-cultural references. The robot Santa Claus character in the cartoon series 'Futurama' has his headquarters on the north pole of Neptune instead of Earth.
The episode 'Sleep No More' of the long-running series 'Dr. Who' takes place in a Neptune orbiting space station. 'Event Horizon' is a 1997 science fiction horror movie that takes place on Neptune. In the episode 'Broken Bow' of 'Star Trek: Enterprise,' the audience learns that in just six minutes, we can travel to and from Neptune and Earth.
Just like Mercury is the first planet in our solar system, Neptune is the last planet and the farthest planet in the solar system, ranking as the eighth planet. It is also in a spherical shape and has a rocky core with ice giants. It would take 12 years to reach Neptune from Earth and the orbit period of Neptune around the sun is 165 years.
There are powerful winds and dust particles on Neptune. Just like all the other planets, even this planet's atmosphere and its celestial body can be seen with ground-based telescopes like the Hubble space telescope. The Neptune system has a ring system. Since it is a gas giant, the gravitational pull of this blue planet is less than that of Earth.
Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun. Planet Neptune may not be the largest planet, but it is the coldest planet. Planet Uranus is another far planet from the sun compared to other planets in the solar system.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about Neptune then why not take a look at Neptune God or Moon child meaning.
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