Neptune - Next Planet - Back to Planet Walk


This photo of Neptune is 20x larger than scale for this Sun and this model.
Taken by Voyager 2, Courtesy JPL    PIA01492

    Neptune is usually the eighth planet out from the sun, 2,790,000,000 miles away from it. Sometimes however Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. Neptune is the fourth largest planet in diameter, and is 60 times the volume of the Earth, but is the third most massive, 17 times the mass of the Earth. Neptune is only visible from the Earth with the aid of binoculars or a telescope.    

    The atmosphere of Neptune consists of 74% hydrogen, 25% helium, and 1% methane. This small amount of methane gives Neptune its blue color by absorbing red light from the Sun and reflecting blue. The winds on Neptune are the fastest in the Solar System, reaching 1,600 miles per hour. Neptune, like the other gas giant planets, has many (8) moons, emits more heat than it receives from the Sun, and has rings.

    Most planets were discovered by people seeing them. Neptune was discovered by mathematics and the laws of physics from perturbations in the orbit of Uranus.
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