10 Fascinating Facts About Neptune

Neptune, discovered in 1846, is the farthest planet in our Solar System.

If you’re a fan of random facts, space trivia, and especially Neptune, then you’re sure to enjoy these top 10 facts about the planet.

Neptune is the most distant planet in our solar system.

Until Pluto’s discovery in 1930, Neptune held the title of being the most distant planet and it regained the title after Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006.

Unlike other planets that have a circular orbit, Pluto’s egg-shaped orbit varies in distance from the Sun. During its orbit, Pluto becomes closer to the Sun than Neptune, making Neptune once again the most distant planet in our Solar System.

Neptune was originally named “Le Verrier’s Planet”.

Initially, after its discovery, Neptune was referred to as “the planet exterior to Uranus” or more commonly “Le Verrier’s planet” after its discoverer, Urbain Le Verrier.

Despite several suggestions for a name, the planet was ultimately named Neptune by Le Verrier himself.

Neptune has 14 known moons.

Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, is one of the coldest places in our Solar System with temperatures that can drop down to -391°F (-235°C). Volcanoes on Triton have been observed erupting liquid nitrogen.

When Voyager 2 passed by Neptune, it discovered six more moons that were not visible from Earth. Later, three additional moons were discovered from a ground-based telescope in 2002.

One year on Neptune lasts 165 Earth years!

Due to Neptune’s distance from the Sun, it takes 164.79 Earth years to orbit the Sun once. This means that since its discovery in 1846, only one Neptunian year has passed.

Neptune has a similar tilt on its axis as Earth, resulting in similar seasons, but they last much longer. A summer on Neptune lasts about 41 Earth years.

Triton is Neptune’s largest moon.

Discovered in 1846 by British astronomer William Lassell, Triton is the only large moon in our Solar System that orbits its planet backwards.

Neptune is 58 times larger than Earth.

Although Neptune is 58 times larger in volume than Earth, it is only 17 times heavier.

The reason for this is that Neptune has a much lower density of 1.6 g/cm3 compared to Earth’s density of 5.5 g/cm3.

Neptune boasts the strongest winds in the entire Solar System.

Neptune has recorded the strongest winds ever in the Solar System.

The recorded speeds reached an astounding 1,250 miles per hour, which is equivalent to 2,000 kilometers per hour!

Similar to Saturn, Neptune has three rings orbiting around it.

The rings of Neptune consist of two thick rings and a faint third ring, which are all smaller than the rings of Saturn and are made up of dust.

Neptune’s mass is 17 times greater than that of Earth’s.

Despite being smaller in diameter than Uranus, Neptune has a greater mass.

Neptune’s mass is 17 times greater than that of Earth’s, while Uranus’s mass is only 14.5 times greater.

Some individuals speculate that Pluto was once a moon of Neptune.

There is a theory that Pluto was once a moon of Neptune but broke away from its gravitational pull, although there is insufficient evidence to support this hypothesis.


1. What is the distance between Neptune and the Sun?

Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun and is located about 2.8 billion miles away from it. It takes Neptune about 165 Earth years to complete one orbit around the Sun.

2. What is the temperature on Neptune?

Neptune is one of the coldest planets in the solar system with an average temperature of about -353 degrees Fahrenheit (-214 degrees Celsius). It is so cold that the atmosphere is made up of mainly hydrogen, helium, and methane.

3. How many moons does Neptune have?

Neptune has 14 known moons, the largest of which is Triton. Triton is also one of the coldest objects in the solar system with a surface temperature of about -391 degrees Fahrenheit (-235 degrees Celsius).

4. What is the atmosphere on Neptune like?

The atmosphere on Neptune is very turbulent with the fastest winds in the solar system, reaching speeds of up to 1,200 miles per hour. The atmosphere is also home to beautiful blue clouds made up of methane gas.

5. How big is Neptune compared to Earth?

Neptune is about 17 times the mass of Earth and is the fourth largest planet in the solar system. However, it has a much lower density than Earth, which means that it is not as solid as our planet.

6. What is the origin of Neptune’s name?

Neptune was named after the Roman god of the sea. This name was chosen because of the blue color of the planet, which was associated with the color of the sea.

7. Has Neptune been visited by any spacecraft?

Only one spacecraft has ever visited Neptune, which was the Voyager 2 probe in 1989. The probe flew by the planet and sent back valuable data about its atmosphere, rings, and moons.

8. What is the future of Neptune?

Neptune is expected to continue its orbit around the Sun for millions of years to come. However, as the Sun gets older and starts to run out of fuel, it will expand and engulf the inner planets, including Neptune, in about 5 billion years.

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