Neptune Fact

Body Paragraph 1: Basic Facts Eigth and last planet in the solar system Mean density (kg/m3):(Neptune)1 ,638 (Earth) 5,514 (Neptune/Earth Ratio) 0. 297 Neptune, like Uranus, is one of the two outer planets known as an “ice giant. ” Made up of more ices than Jupiter and Saturn, the chilly body almost seems to be in a class by itself. Body Paragraph 2: Atmosphere Neptune’s atmosphere is made up predominately of hydrogen and helium, with some methane. The methane is part of what gives Neptune its brilliant blue tint, as it absorbs red light and reflects bluer colors.

The planet has ten toa hundred times more methane, ethane, and ethyne at its equator than it does at its poles. Made of ammonia ice, water ice, ammonia hydrosulfide, and methane ice The atmosphere of Neptune is made up of two main regions. Like the other three gas giants, the planet has no firm surface, so scientists have established that the “surface” is where the pressure is equal to the pressure found at sea level on Earth. From the Book Body Paragraph 3: Storms With winds of 1,305 miles per hour (2,100 km per hour), Neptune has some of the ost extreme weather in the solar system.

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These winds travel three times as faster as those on Jupiter, and nine times faster as winds clocked on Earth. Such winds drive powerful storms. When Voyager 2 observed the planet in 1989, it tracked a dark, oval storm that resembled Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. The enormous weather pattern was about the size of Earth. The planet seems to boast an anticyclonic storm, with winds traveling backwards in high-pressure systems, every few years. Clouds are generated at or Just below the tropopause region, which lies between the troposphere and the tratosphere.

Neptune’s weather is driven in part by heating from within its core. http://www. space. com/18922-neptune-atmosphere. html Body Paragraph 4: Neptune’s Moons The first four moons of Neptune, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, and Galatea, are so close to Neptune that they orbit within its ring system. Little is known about them. The next one out, Larissa, was actually discovered in 1981, when it blocked a star. This was attributed to the ring arcs, but later was found to be the moon, being re-discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989.

Proteus is the second-largest moon in orbit around Neptune. It is so close to the planet that Earth-bound telescopes cannot see it. Triton is next (right), and is one of the strangest moons in the solar system. It has an atmosphere, a retrograde orbit and it is only 38 oc (100 OF) above absolute zero (the temperature at which all matter comes to rest). In such frigid a climate scientists did not expect to find active geysers. But, they did. They spew out a gaseous form of nitrogen, which is what creates its atmosphere.

The eighth moon, Nereid, has a highly elliptical orbit hat causes it to swing around Neptune at various distances. When closest, it is 1 km (834,210 miles) from the planet. At the farthest distance, it is 9,667,120 km (6,006,870 miles) from Neptune. The last five moons were discovered in the first few weeks of and throughout 2003. They have not yet been given official names by the International Astronomical Union. http://burro. cwru. edu/stu/ neptune_moons. tml Body Paragraph 5: Neptune’s Rings Evidence for incomplete arcs around Neptune first arose in the mid-1980s, when tellar occultation experiments were found to occasionally show an extra “blink” Just before or after the planet occulted the star. Images by Voyager 2 in 1989 settled the issue The existence of arcs is very difficult to understand because the laws of motion would predict that arcs spread out into a uniform ring over very short timescales. The gravitational effects of Galatea, a moon Just inward from the ring, are now believed to confine the arcs.

Several other rings were detected by the Voyager cameras. http://solarsystem. nasa. gov/planets/profile. cfm? ObJect=Neptune Body Paragraph 6: Pluto Pluto used to be the farthest planet from the sun but isn’t considered a planet anymore, so Neptune took its place Pluto and Neptune couldn’t differ more. Pluto is a tiny ball of rock and ice measuring only 2,390 km across. This is a tiny fraction of the diameter of Neptune, which is 49,500 km across. You could fit 20 Plutos side by side to match the diameter of Neptune. Neptune and Pluto have a very interesting orbital dynamic between them.

Neptune has a roughly circular orbit; however, Pluto’s orbit s highly eccentric, varying its distance to the Sun a tremendous amount over the course of its orbit. Because of this, Pluto can actually get closer to the Sun than Neptune Talk about last time that happened. They actually can’t collide because Pluto’s orbit takes it much higher above the Sun’s orbital plane. When Pluto is at the same point as Neptune’s orbit, it actually much higher up than Neptune. So the two planets will never be at the same place at the same time. http://www. universetoday. com/22073/pluto-and-neptune/#ixzz21aNKlMTK


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