What we know about the neptune planet | What are the fun facts about neptune


neptune, neptune planets, the neptune

If you are thinking about the life in Neptune! Forget it. The conditions there are not even anywhere near to those found on a life supporting planet.

Neptune does not have a solid surface. Its atmosphere is made up mostly of Hydrogen, Helium, and Methane.

Neptune is dark, cold, and very windy. It’s the last of the planets in our solar system. It’s more than 30 times as far from the sun as Earth is.

Neptune’s surface

Neptune is thought to have a gaseous surface composed mostly of hydrogen, helium and methane, which extends to great depths, gradually merging into water and other molten ice, Assuming it doesn’t have a solid surface.

Neptune is a gas giant or some refer to it as an ice giant.

The surface we see isn’t a solid surface at all but rather a mixture of 80% Hydrogen, 19% Helium, a little Methane and some trace elements.

It’s very cold so it’s more like ice crystals that become more dense closer to its core.

Its core is about the size of Earth and is made of silicate rock, nickel-iron and ice. We don’t know what the surface of its core looks like.

Orbit and Rotation

One day on Neptune takes about 16 hours and Neptune makes a complete orbit around the Sun in about 165 Earth years (60,190 Earth days).

Sometimes Neptune is even farther from the Sun than dwarf planet Pluto.

Pluto’s highly eccentric, oval-shaped orbit brings it inside Neptune’s orbit for a 20-year period every 248 Earth years.

This switch, in which Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune, happened most recently from 1979 to 1999.

Pluto can never crash into Neptune, though, because for every three laps Neptune takes around the Sun, Pluto makes two.

This repeating pattern prevents close approaches of the two bodies.

Neptune’s axis of rotation is tilted 28 degrees with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun, which is similar to the axial tilts of Mars and Earth.

This means that Neptune experiences seasons just like we do on Earth; however, since its year is so long, each of the four seasons lasts for over 40 years (Oh My God).


Neptune is one of two ice giants in the outer solar system (the other is Uranus).

Most (80 percent or more) of the planet’s mass is made up of a hot dense fluid of “icy” materials water, methane and ammonia above a small, rocky core.

All Of the giant planets, Neptune is the densest.

Scientists think there might be an ocean of super hot water under Neptune’s cold clouds.

It does not boil away because incredibly high pressure keeps it locked inside.


Neptune took shape when the rest of the solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago, when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to become this ice giant.

Like its neighbor Uranus, Neptune likely formed closer to the Sun and moved to the outer solar system about 4 billion years ago.


Neptune’s atmosphere is made up mostly of Hydrogen and Helium with just a little bit of Methane.

Neptune’s neighbor Uranus is a blue-green color due to such atmospheric methane, but Neptune is a more vivid, brighter blue, so there must be an unknown component that causes the more intense color.

Neptune is our solar system’s windiest world. 

Despite its great distance and low energy input from the Sun, Neptune’s winds can be three times stronger than Jupiter’s and nine times stronger than Earth’s.

These winds whip clouds of frozen methane across the planet at speeds of more than 1,200 miles per hour (2,000 kilometers per hour).

Even Earth’s most powerful winds hit only about 250 miles per hour (400 kilometers per hour).

In 1989 a large, oval-shaped storm in Neptune’s southern hemisphere dubbed the “Great Dark Spot” was large enough to contain the entire Earth.

That storm has since disappeared, but new ones have appeared on different parts of the planet.


The main axis of Neptune’s magnetic field is tipped over by about 47 degrees compared with the planet’s rotation axis.

Like Uranus, whose magnetic axis is tilted about 60 degrees from the axis of rotation, Neptune’s magnetosphere undergoes wild variations during each rotation because of this misalignment.

The magnetic field of Neptune is about 27 times more powerful than that of Earth.​


Neptune have at least five main rings and four prominent ring arcs that we know of so far. 

Starting near the planet and moving outward, the main rings are named Galle, Leverrier, Lassell, Arago and Adams. The rings are thought to be relatively young and short-lived.

Neptune’s ring system also has peculiar clumps of dust called arcs. 


Neptune has 14 known moons. Neptune’s largest moon Triton was discovered on October 10, 1846, by William Lassell, just 17 days after Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the planet. 

Triton is the only large moon in the solar system that circles its planet in a direction opposite to the planet’s rotation (a retrograde orbit), 

which suggests that it may once have been an independent object that Neptune captured. 

Triton is extremely cold, with surface temperatures around -391 degrees Fahrenheit (-235 degrees Celsius). With a recorded surface temperature of -235° C, Triton is the coldest known object in the Solar System.

And yet, despite this deep freeze at Triton, Voyager 2 discovered geysers spewing icy material upward more than 5 miles (8 kilometers). 

Triton’s thin atmosphere, also discovered by Voyager, has been detected from Earth several times since, and is growing warmer, but scientists do not yet know why.


The interior of Neptune, similar to that of Uranus, is made of two layers: a core and mantle. The core is rocky and estimated to be 1.2 times as massive as the Earth.

The mantle is an extremely hot and dense liquid composed of water, ammonia and methane. The mantle is between ten to fifteen times the mass of the Earth.

Although Neptune and Uranus share similar interiors, they are, however, quite distinct in one way.

Whereas Uranus emits only about the same amount of heat that it receives from the Sun, Neptune emits nearly 2.61 times the amount of the sunlight it receives.

To place this in perspective, the two planets’ surface temperatures are approximately equal, yet Neptune receives only 40% of the sunlight that Uranus does.

Additionally, this large internal heat is also what powers the extreme winds found in the upper atmosphere.

What are interesting facts about Neptune

1) It takes Neptune 164.8 Earth years to orbit the Sun. On 11 July 2011, Neptune completed its first full orbit since its discovery in 1846.

2) Neptune was discovered by Jean Joseph Le Verrier. The planet was not known to ancient civilizations because it is not visible to the naked eye. 

The planet was initially called Le Verrier after its discoverer. 

This name, however, quickly was abandoned and the name Neptune was chosen instead. Neptune is the Roman God of the Sea. In Greek, Neptune is called Poseidon.

3) Neptune has the second largest gravity of any planet in the solar system second only to Jupiter.

4) The orbit path of Neptune is approximately 30 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. This means it is around 30 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

5) The largest Neptunium moon, Triton, was discovered just 17 days after Neptune itself was discovered.

6) 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 also has a second storm called the Small Dark Spot. This storm is around the same size as Earth’s moon.

7) Neptune spins very quickly on its axis. The planets equatorial clouds take 18 hours to complete one rotation. 

The reason this happens is that Neptune does not have a solid body.

8) Only one spacecraft, the Voyager 2, has flown past Neptune. It happened in 1989 and captured the first close-up images of the Neptunium system. 

It took 246 minutes four hours and six minutes for signals from Voyager 2 to reach back to Earth.

9) The climate on Neptune is extremely active. In its upper atmosphere, large storms sweep across it and high-speed solar winds track around the planet at up to 1,340 km per second. 

The largest storm was the Great Dark Spot in 1989 which lasted for around five years.

10) Like the other outer planets, Neptune possesses a ring system, though its rings are very faint. 

They are most likely made up of ice particles and grains of dust with a carbon-based substance coating them.

11) Neptune has 14 known moons. The largest of these moons is Triton a frozen world which spits out particles of nitrogen ice and dust from below its surface. 

It is believed that Triton was caught by the immense gravitational pull of Neptune and is regarded as one of the coldest worlds in our solar system.

12) Neptune has an average surface temperature of -214°C approximately -353°F.

13) The largest Neptunian moon, Triton, was discovered just 17 days after Neptune itself was discovered.

14) Neptune’s upper atmosphere is composed of 80% hydrogen (H2), 19% helium and trace amounts of methane.


Why scientist are unwilling to send mission on Neptune

The problem is that of speed. In order to get a spacecraft to such distant places within some reasonable amount of time you have to make it go VERY fast.

Once you’ve got it going fast, it’s very hard to slow it down again and if you don’t slow down you can’t remain in a stable orbit.

There are very real issues with spacecraft that take more than one human lifespan to get where they’re going aside from anything else, nobody wants to fund something that they’ll have zero chance of seeing any science back from.

If you tried to go very fast to get there and then fire retro rockets to get into orbit you’d need to take a LOT of fuel with you and because fuel is heavy, that would make it very hard to go fast to get there in the first place.

Even orbiting Saturn has proven to be a really tough job and Saturn is practically next door compared to Uranus and Neptune.

There is also a matter of scientific relevance. Humanity’s space exploration is still in a nascent stage. 

Sending a craft, even to the Moon, is very expensive. 

Sending crafts to Uranus and Neptune would not only be infinitely more expensive, but would also present a lot of other challenges.

For one, Uranus and Neptune are so far away that it would take decades for a craft to reach them. 

The Earth is at 1-AU from the Sun, Mars is at 1.5-AU, and Jupiter is at 5-AU. 

Crafts take over 4 months to reach Mars and five years to reach Jupiter. 

Uranus is at 19-AU and Neptune is even further away at 30-AU.

It’s pretty clear that they won’t harbor life and we won’t ever be able to send humans to them – they don’t seem to have much in the way of economic value. 

NASA and others have decided that the inner planets and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are really the most interesting places to visit. 

It helps that you can get there more quickly, more cheaply and more reliably than getting into orbit around the outer planets.

So when proposals to do these things are looked at then the next generation of Mars probes or missions to Titan and Enceladus seem much more cost-effective.




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