What does the planet Neptune look like


Neptune was discovered in 1846 by Johann Galle, an astronomer at the Berlin observatory. Thanks to the calculations of the French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier, Galle knew where to look for the planet. Both Le Verrier and John Adams in England understood that an as yet undiscovered planet was pulling on Uranus, alternately slowing it down or speeding it up.

Neptune turned out to be an almost identical twin of Uranus. It is 57 times larger than the earth, but rotates fairly quickly, so that a day is only 16 hours and 7 minutes. Its average distance from the Sun is approximately 4,500 million kilometers, and a year on Neptune is nearly 165 Earth years.

Like Uranus, Neptune has an atmosphere of hydrogen, helium, and methane. Its interior consists of ice and possibly a rocky core. The atmosphere is very cold (-220 ° C), but there are still some really strong winds and violent storms on the blue planet. Voyager 2 managed to capture a huge patch the size of our earth.

Neptune has at least five dark, narrow rings named after Galle, Le Verrier, Adams, and other researchers involved in the discovery of the planet.

It has 13 moons known to us. By far the largest of these is Triton, an ice world that is larger than Pluto. The thin atmosphere of the Triton is frozen to its extremely cold surface. However, it has numerous active ice volcanoes that emit clouds of gas and dust. The fact that it circles Neptune in the “wrong direction” (from east to west) also makes the Triton so unusual. It was probably captured by Neptune's gravity a very long time ago.

Last modified January 20, 2006

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