Neptune is the 8th planet from the Sun, and also the furthest in our Solar System. The planet is named after the Go of the Sea in Roman mythology, which is also identified with the Greek god Poseidon.
It’s brilliant blue methane atmosphere looks calm and cold with temperature of -346 degrees Fahrenheit. The methane gas, which reflects blue light well, gives Neptune it’s intense color.
Voyager 2 discovered that winds ripped through Neptune’s atmosphere at 1,400 mph, making it the fiercest planet in the Solar System.
Some cloud formations appear and vanish in just a few minutes, rising up from the warmer layers and sinking again as they cool down. Long lasting features such as the great dark circle and some of the white clouds, are forced along by fierce currents.
Voyager 2 also found 4 faint rings around the planet. The 3 brighter rings were given the names Galle, Adams, and Leverrier, after the 3 people involved in its discovery.
The independent calculations of of John Couch Adams in England and Urbain Leverrier, in France in 1845 showed that an unknown planet was pulling Uranus from its true path. These calculations led to the discovery of Neptune by Johann Galle in Germany in 1846.
The great dark circle, or spot, was discovered by Voyager 2, and is large enough to contain the Earth. The spot changes its size and shape as the material inside it slowly churned every 16 days. A much smaller dark spot, known as D2, was also seen in Neptune’s southern hemisphere; both spots were observed for several weeks.
Neptune has 13 known moons; Triton is the largest and unusual because it travels opposite, of the planets rotation. The rest of the moons are named Naiad, Thalassa, Galatea, Larissa, Despina, Sao, Laomedeia, Halimede, Nereid, Proteus, Neso, and Psamathe.
The planet is approximately 30,760 miles in diameter, and is 17.2 the size of Earths mass. It is also 2.6 billion miles from Earth. The length of a year on Neptune lasts 165 Earth years.