|Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun and was discovered by a team of 3 people, John Couch Adams, Urbain Leverrier and Johannes Galle. The first two carried out mathematical calculations to try and identify an extra planet that affected the orbit of Uranus and Johannes Galle pointed his telescope at the coordinates produced from the results.|
|The interior of Neptune, which consists of a rocky core surrounded by a single layer of water, methane and ammonia.|
|The blue gas giant, Neptune.|
|Image copyright CJ. Hamilton|
|Image copyright NASA/JPL|
The wondrous blue colour comes from methane in the atmosphere absorbing red light from the Sun.
Neptune also has rings that are made out of a dark sooty material.
Like Jupiter, Neptune has a large storm system called the Great Dark Spot, which can be seen towards the equator in the above picture.
Most of Neptune's moons are asteroids or irregularly shaped. The major satellite is Triton, which was discovered by William Lassell in 1846. It is covered in a massive number of cracks and the surface is quite similar to a canteloupe melon. Many of the geological artifacts were probably created by cryovolcanism.
Distance from Sun: 2,795,084,800 miles
Diameter: 30 776 miles
Length of Day: 16 hours 7 minutes
Length of Year: 165 years
Number of moons: 14
|Triton, the only moon that has a retrograde orbit.|
|Image copyright NASA|