A Few Fun Facts About Neptune
Neptune, sometimes referred to as the Blue Giant is the eight planet in the Solar System and its location is between Uranus and Pluto. With a diameter of approximately 49,500 kilometers in diameter Neptune is almost four times the size of the Earth. You cannot see Neptune with the naked eyes since the distance between the Earth and Neptune is roughly 4. 4 billion km Even if you use the binoculars, you cannot see the planet well. Below we’ll go over some of the intriguing facts about Neptune.
The astronomers from ancient times observed Neptune including Galileo. However, Galileo did not know that he was seeing a planet. In early times, we didn’t have telescopes that were sufficiently powerful to assist the astronomers and researchers identify planets. Thus, when they discovered Neptune, the astronomers did not note the disk shape of the planet.
Mathematical calculations were used by the astronomers and researchers to find this planet. In 1843, a mathematician and astronomer in Britain was crucial in calculating the exact location of Neptune. By using the calculations, the astronomer, determined that Neptune was one billion miles farther away from the Sun compared to Uranus. Another French astronomer did the math also got results which were similar to the British astronomer. Using the calculations developed by the French Astronomer, Johann C. Galle discovered Neptune in September 23, 1846. This discovery was also attributed to the French and British astronomers as their calculations were instrumental its discovery.
Neptune got its name after the Roman god of the sea because of its blue appearance. Its naming follows the rest of the planets of the solar system which are all named after Roman gods.
This planet is made up of nickel, iron and other silicates. The Mantle of Neptune chiefly includes methane, ammonia, water and other chemical substances. With temperatures that range from 3000 to 5000K, Neptune’s mantle is very hot. The atmosphere is made up of eighty percent hydrogen, 19% of helium and 1 percent of methane, water, and ammonia.
The blue color which characterizes this planet is a result of the presence of methane in its atmosphere. It absorbs the red light which comes from the sun and then reflects it in the color blue in space.
Astronomers and researchers have found thirteen moons that revolve around Neptune till today. It is possible that there are more moons which are yet to be discovered.
The Voyager 2 was the first spaceship to reach Neptune, and it did so in 1989. It took pictures of the planet and using these pictures, researchers found that the planet has five rings. These rings are; Adams, Galle, LeVerrier, Lassel, and Arago. People believe that these rings formed a single planet when one of the moons of Neptune got very close and broke into millions of particles due to the gravity in Neptune.