Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Neptune is not visible to the naked eye. It was first observed through a telescope on September 23, 1846.
Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than through regular observations of the sky.
It was named after the Roman god of the sea.
Neptune, like Uranus, is an ice giant. It’s similar to a gas giant. It is made of thick soup of water, ammonia and methane flowing over a solid core about the size of Earth.
Neptune goes around the sun once roughly every 165 Earth years, and completed its first orbit, since being discovered, in 2011.
Neptune takes 18 hours to make one rotation. This is because Neptune is not solid body.
Neptune is encircled by six rings, but they are very hard to see. Neptune is dark, cold, and very windy. One of the largest storms ever seen was recorded in 1989. Neptune’s winds can reach up to 1,500 mph (2,400 km/h), the fastest detected yet in the solar system.
Neptune has a storm similar the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. It is commonly known as the Great Dark Spot and is roughly the size of Earth.
Neptune has 13 known moons and one unconfirmed moon. The largest Neptunian moon, Triton which is extremely cold with temperatures on its surface reaching about minus 391 degrees F (minus 235 degrees C), making it one of the coldest places in the solar system.Triton was discovered just 17 days after Neptune itself was discovered.
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. But the cause of Neptune’s bluish tinge remains a mystery.
Only one spacecraft, the Voyager 2, has flown past Neptune. It happened in 1989 and captured the first close-up images of the Neptunian system. It took 246 minutes – four hours and six minutes – for signals from Voyager 2 to reach back to Earth.
Image Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org