Neptune is the eighth planet in the solar system, as per its distance from the sun. It also became the last planet in our solar system, after Pluto was re-categorized as a dwarf planet. Neptune is almost 4 times the size of Earth and is 30 times as far away from the sun as Earth. Its axis tilts about 28 degrees from the perpendicular position, causing sun to heat its northern and southern halves alternately, resulting in seasons and temperature changes. Neptune was the first ever planet which was initially discovered through mathematical calculations rather than constant observations of the solar system. Neptune is located at a very far distance from the sun and it has a very low energy input. Are you interested to know more details about this planet? Well, then go ahead and read through some more interesting and fun facts about Neptune.
Equatorial Diameter: 49,528 km
Polar Diameter: 48,680 km
Density: 1.64 g/cm3
Volume: 60 earth-volumes.
Chemical Composition: molecular hydrogen, methane and helium
Revolution Time: 165 years
Rotation Time: 17.24 hrs
Number Of Moons: 8
Discovered In: 28 December 1612
Named After: Roman God of sea
Distance From Earth: 4.4 billion km
Planetary Expeditions: NASA's Voyager 2, 1989
Interesting & Fun Facts About Neptune
- Neptune is the fourth largest planet among the eight main planets in our Solar System.
- Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Neptune, in 1989.
- Neptune's atmospheric composition comprises of hydrogen, helium, methane, traces of ammonia and water.
- Neptune looks blue in color. This is due to the absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere.
- Amongst all the eight planets in the Solar System, Neptune has the strongest wind flow. The wind blows in a westerly direction, at a speed of 2,000 km/hour.
- There is a cloud that moves around Neptune about every 16 hours. It is known as "The Scooter".
- In Roman Mythology, Neptune is the God of the Sea.
- Neptune's moon, Triton, is slowly getting closer to it. It is believed that finally, the moon will get so close that it will get torn apart by Neptune's gravity and, possibly, form rings more spectacular than Saturn's.
- Like Jupiter's Great Red Spot, Neptune also has dark spots. However, these spots disappear and reappear on different parts of the planet, unlike Jupiter's spot.
- Neptune, sometimes, orbits the Sun further away than Pluto, making it the most distant planet in the Solar System. It returned to its usual position, as the second farthest planet from the Sun, in December 1999.
- Neptune has 11 known satellites, of which Triton is the largest one.
- Neptune's moon, Triton orbits in the direction opposite to the planet's rotation. It is the only large moon in the Solar System to do this.
- Neptune has three prominent rings and one faint ring. Some parts of these rings are brighter than others and appear like arcs orbiting the planet.
- Neptune completes its rotation in about 16 hours and 7 minutes.
- It takes 165 years for Neptune to revolve around the Sun. Since its discovery in 1846, the planet has not yet completed a full orbit.
- Neptune's moon, Triton has the coldest temperatures measured in the Solar System, about -230°C. Triton is the biggest of all the 13 moons of Neptune and the only one with gravity and mass.
- There is no possibility that anyone can stand on Neptune as it is a huge mass of ice and gas and has a rocky core.
- Neptune receives very little sunlight which accounts to about 1/900 of the amount that reaches earth.
- The days in Neptune are shorter when compared to that of earth. i.e. Neptune has sixteen earth hours in a day.
- If you are traveling to Neptune in a spacecraft or rocket, it will take you ten long years to reach there.
- Changes in weather also occur in Neptune similar to that of the earth but the only difference is that each season lasts for approximately 40 long years.