Neptune is the eighth and the most distant known planet in our solar system.
Here we’re going to learn 18 interesting facts about the planet Neptune.
1. Neptune is the fourth largest planet with a diameter of about 49,244 km (30,598 miles). It is almost four times the diameter of the Earth.
2. The planet orbits our sun at a distance of about 4.5 billion kilometres (2.8 billion miles).
3. Neptune was discovered by Urbain Le Verrier, Johann Gottfried Galle, and John Couch Adams on 23 September 1846.
4. The planet was the first to be discovered by using mathematical calculations instead of empirical observation.
5. It takes about 16 hours to rotate once (a Neptunian day), and about 165 Earth years to complete an orbit around the sun (a Neptunian year).
6. On July 11, 2011, Neptune completed its first orbit around the sun since its discovery in 1846.
7. Neptune is the only planet in the solar system, that is not visible to the unaided eye. It is roughly 30 times the distance of the sun from Earth.
8. The planet has been named after the Roman god of the sea.
9. Neptune has the fastest winds of any planet in the solar system, that can reach as high as 2,100 km/h (1,300 mph).
10. Neptune’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (80%) and helium (19%). Although, it also has a trace amount of methane, which makes the planet appear to be blue.
11. Neptune is the coldest planet in the solar system with the temperature as low as −224 ° C (−372 ° F or 49K), recorded at the cloud tops in 1989.
12. It has 14 known moons orbiting the planet. The largest of these moons is “Triton”.
13. Triton was discovered on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune.
14. Neptune has six rings, that they are hard to see from the Earth.
15. Neptune’s mass is about 1.024×1026 kg, making it the third heaviest planet in the solar system.
16. It is 17 times heavier than Earth and is a little bit heavier than its near-twin Uranus.
17. Neptune emits about 2.61 times more energy than it receives from the sun.
18. Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to visit the planet Neptune. The spacecraft made a flyby of the planet with its closest encounter on August 25, 1989.