Planet Neptune

Kieran Genobaga Physical Science Planet Project 5/3/11 [pic] After the discovery of Uranus, scientist noticed the orbit was not as it should be in accordance to Newton’s law. Neptune was discovered by Johann Galle on September 23, 1846. Neptune has been visited by the Voyager 2; it flew by the planet on August 25, 1989. It was the first planet to be found by a mathematical prediction. Alexis Bouvard thought the change in Uranus’s orbit changed by gravitational perturbation by an unknown planet. The planet named after the famous Greek god of the sea is Neptune.

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Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds. Neptune is a gas giant; it is made of the hydrogen and helium. The planet takes about 165 Earth years to orbit the sun. A day on Neptune is 16 hours and 6. 7 minutes. Neptune orbits the sun at a distance of 30. 1 AU. In 2011 it will complete its first orbit since its discovery in 1846. Neptune is the fourth-largest planet in diameter. Neptune is the third-largest planet in mass. The mass of this planet is 102,410,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg. Neptune is 17 times bigger than planet Earths.

The largest moon Triton was discovered shortly after the planet was discovered. The interior of Neptune is like Uranus’s, which is composed of ices and rocks. The atmosphere of Neptune is a large white cloud that moves around pretty quick. No other planet in our solar system has winds as strong as Neptune. The Great Dark Spot has been believed to reach 1,200 miles per hour. It is a dark, elliptically- shaped spot; it is about the same size as Earth. The Great Dark Spot is thought to represent a hole in the methane cloud deck of Neptune. The Spot has large white clouds at or just below the tropopause layer.

The clouds are different from the clouds on Earth, how ever they are composed of crystals of ice, Neptune’s cirrus clouds are made up of crystals of frozen methane. When the spot was photographed in November 1994 by the Hubble Space Telescope, it had disappeared completely, leaving scientists to think that it had been covered up or vanished. Neptune has six rings which circle the planet. The rings are believed to be pretty new. The rings are more irregular than the rings of other planets. These are areas of varying thickness throughout the rings. Neptune has 13 moons as we know of.

The names of these 13 moons are Triton, Despina, Galatea, Halimede, Laomedeia, Larissa, Naiad, Nereid, Neso, Proteus, Psamathe, Sao and Thalassa Neptune is so far away that it is hard to tell if there is any more. The first moon to be discovered was Triton. It was discovered by William Lassell only 17 days after Neptune was discovered in 1846. In 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe the planet Neptune. The Voyager 2 made its closet approach to any planet since leaving Earth 12 years ago. The Voyager 2 was when astronomers found out a lot about Neptune.


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