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Neptune

Neptune

Neptune is the outermost planet of the Solar System, the smallest of the giant planets

Geography

Keywords

Neptune, rings of Neptune, Solar System, outer planet, gas giant, Proteus, Triton, Nereid, Sun, planet, moon, astronomy, geography

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Solar System

  • Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

Neptune is one of the outer planets, the outermost of the Solar System. It is 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth, on a nearly circular orbit. It is the smallest of the giant planets, very similar to Uranus.
Its density is higher than that of other giant planets' (1.64 g/cm³). Its orbital period is 164.79 years, it has completed 1 orbit since its discovery. Its surface is bright blue, with cloudy white spots of methane.

Neptune

  • axis of rotation
  • line perpendicular to the orbital plane
  • orbital plane of Neptune
  • orbit of Neptune
  • equator of Neptune
  • 28.32°
  • rings of Neptune

Data:

Diameter: 49,532 km ( 3.89 Earths)

Mass: 1.02×10²⁶ kg ( 17.1 Earths)

Average density: 1.64 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 1.125 g

Surface temperature: -201 °C

Number of moons: 14

Rotation period: 16 h 5 m

Axial tilt: 28.32°

Average distance from the Sun:
4,495,060,000 km = 30.05 AU = 4.17 light hours

Orbital eccentricity: 0.0113

Orbital period: 164.79 years

Proteus

Proteus:

Average distance from the Neptune:
117,600 km

Diameter: 416 km

Triton

Triton:

Average distance from the Neptune:
354,760 km

Diameter: 2,706 km

Mass: 2.14×10²² kg

Nereid

Nereid:

Average distance from the Neptune:
5,513,400 km

Diameter: 340 km

Section of Neptune

  • atmosphere - Neptune has a thick atmosphere made up of hydrogen, helium and methane, with strong atmospheric storms.
  • icy mantle
  • core - The inner core of Neptune consists of iron and silicates.

Orbit of Neptune

  • Neptune
  • Sun
  • average distance from the Sun: 4,495,060,000 km
  • orbital period: 164.79 years
  • the orbit of the Neptune

Animation

  • Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • axis of rotation
  • line perpendicular to the orbital plane
  • orbital plane of Neptune
  • orbit of Neptune
  • equator of Neptune
  • 28.32°
  • rings of Neptune
  • atmosphere - Neptune has a thick atmosphere made up of hydrogen, helium and methane, with strong atmospheric storms.
  • icy mantle
  • core - The inner core of Neptune consists of iron and silicates.
  • Neptune
  • Sun
  • average distance from the Sun: 4,495,060,000 km
  • orbital period: 164.79 years
  • the orbit of the Neptune

Narration

Neptune was discovered by Johann Galle in 1846, based on the calculations of Urbain Le Verrier after analysing perturbations in the orbit of Uranus. Independently of Le Verrier, John Couch Adams developed his own calculations, but these were only published later. Neptune was named after one of the oldest of the Roman gods. In the provinces, he was identified with the local god of water and the sea. He is the equivalent of the Greek god Poseidon. So far, Neptune has been visited by only one spacecraft, Voyager 2, which flew by the planet on 25 August 1989.

Neptune is one of the outer planets, the outermost in the solar system. It is 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth is, on a near-circular orbit. It is the smallest of the gas giants (a Jovian planet), very similar to Uranus. Its density is greater than that of the other gas giants (1.64 g/cm³).

Its orbital period is 164.79 years, so it has only completed one orbit since its discovery.

Its surface is bright blue, with cloudy white spots of methane. Its colour comes from the 2% methane content of the atmosphere, which absorbs red light and reflects blue. Several dark spots, storms, can be seen on the surface, which move more slowly than the rest of the atmosphere. The Great Dark Spot is one of these storms; it measures 10,000 km across. Some of the cloud formations only exist for a few minutes. They rise from the warmer layers of the atmosphere; then they freeze and fall back. The winds are strong, and their direction of flow varies.

The magnetic field of Neptune is as strong as the Earth's. Tilted 47° from the axis of rotation, the magnetic axis does not go through the centre of the planet.

Neptune has a planetary ring system. The thickness of the rings, which are composed of rock and dust particles, varies. Small moons orbit Neptune between the rings; six of those have a diameter of over 100 km.

The largest moon is Triton, with a diameter of 2,706 km. It has a nearly circular, retrograde orbit with an orbital period of six days. Its surface features dark bands with geysers. It was discovered in 1846, together with Neptune.

Nereid has a very large, very eccentric orbit, with an orbital period of almost 1 year. These two moons are probably captured asteroids.

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