Some Fascinating Facts About Neptune
Neptune, the eighth planet in the Solar System is located between Uranus and Pluto and at times, it is referred to as the Blue Giant. With a diameter of approximately 49,500 kilometers in diameter Neptune is almost four times the size of the Earth. The distance between Neptune and the Earth is nearly 4. 4 billion kilometers, and thus, you cannot see it with your naked eyes. Even in the event that you use the binoculars, you can’t see the planet nicely. Below we will discuss some of the compelling facts about Neptune.
The astronomers from ancient times observed Neptune including Galileo. Nonetheless, Galileo didn’t comprehend he was seeing a planet. In ancient times, we did not have powerful telescopes to help the astronomers and researchers discern planets. Therefore, when they saw Neptune, the astronomers did not observe the disc shape of the planet.
The astronomers and investigators found this planet using mathematical calculations. In 1843, an astronomer and mathematician in Britain was key in calculating the location of Neptune. Based on the calculations, the astronomer estimated that Neptune had been one billion kilometers farther away from the Sun compared to Uranus. Another French astronomer did the calculations and got similar results to the British astronomer. Using the calculations developed by the French Astronomer, in September 23, 1846, Johann C Galle discovered Neptune. Since their calculations were instrumental its discovery, it was attributed to the French and British astronomers.
Because of its blue appearance, Neptune was named after the Roman god of the sea. Its naming follows the remaining planets of the solar system that are named after Roman gods.
Iron, nickel and other silicates make up this planet. The Mantle of Neptune chiefly includes methane, ammonia, water and other chemical substances. Neptune’s mantle is quite hot with temperatures that range from 3000 to 5000K. The atmosphere consists of eighty percent hydrogen, 19% of helium and one percent of water, ammonia and methane.
The blue color which characterizes this planet is due to 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 investigators have discovered thirteen moons which revolve around Neptune till now. It is possible that there are more moons which are yet to be discovered.
The first spaceship to reach Neptune was called the Voyager 2, and it did so in 1989. It took photos of the planet and using these images, researchers discovered that the planet has five rings. These rings are; LeVerrier, Galle, Lassel, Adams, and Arago. People today believe these rings formed one planet when one of those moons of Neptune got near and broke into countless particles because of the gravity at Neptune.