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For the Roman god, see Neptune (mythology).
Neptune from Voyager 2.

Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. It is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass. Among the gaseous planets in the Solar System, Neptune is the most dense. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times the mass of Earth but not as dense. Named after the w: German god of the sea German god of the sea, its astronomical symbol is , a stylised version of the god Neptune's trident.

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...More than 30 times as far from the Sun as Earth, the planet takes almost 165 Earth years to orbit our Sun. In 2011 Neptune completed its first orbit since its discovery in 1846. - National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
...Neptune cannot support life as we know it.
At times during the course of Neptune's orbit, dwarf planet Pluto is actually closer to the Sun, and us, than Neptune. This is due to the unusual elliptical (egg) shape of Pluto's orbit. - National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Things to know about Neptune are:
    If the Sun were as tall as a typical front door, the Earth would be the size of a nickel and Neptune would be about as big as a baseball.
    Neptune orbits our Sun, a star. Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun at a distance of about 4.5 billion km (2.8 billion miles) or 30.07 AU.
    One day on Neptune takes about 16 hours (the time it takes for Neptune to rotate or spin once). Neptune makes a complete orbit around the Sun (a year in Neptunian time) in about 165 Earth years (60,190 Earth days).
    Neptune is a sister ice giant to Uranus. Neptune is mostly made of a very thick, very hot combination of water, ammonia, and methane over a possible heavier, approximately Earth-sized, solid core.
    Neptune's atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen, helium (He) and methane.
    Neptune has 13 confirmed moons (and 1 more awaiting official confirmation of discovery). Neptune's moons are named after various sea gods and nymphs in Greek mythology.
    Neptune has six rings.
    Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Neptune.
    Neptune cannot support life as we know it.
    At times during the course of Neptune's orbit, dwarf planet Pluto is actually closer to the Sun, and us, than Neptune. This is due to the unusual elliptical (egg) shape of Pluto's orbit.
Neptune was discovered by Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams, and Johann Galle on 23 September 1846. It orbits around Sun 4.4983964 x 109 km away and is of 30.070 x Earth.... - National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • The most common distinction made between the planets is “inner planets” versus outer “planets”. The term inner planets usually refers to the seven visual planets (although sometimes Jupiter and Saturn are not included in this list). This type of classification is very much a modern construct: before 1781, when Herschel discovered Uranus, there were only "inner" or "visible" planets—planets that were visible to the naked eye. (Of course the skies were a great deal clearer then). These included the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The outer planets are the planets that are only visible with a telescope: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The asteroid Chiron functions as a bridge between the inner and the outer planets....The fastest of the outer planets is Uranus which takes about 84 years to complete a cycle of the Zodiac. Today it is not unusual to see people to live past their Uranus return and humans are gradually developing a greater understanding of the energy of Uranus.
The Solar System consists of eight "planets" Mercury, Venus, Earth,Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.... -International Astronomical Union.
The Solar System's four giant planets against the Sun - The word planet comes from the Greek for “wanderer,” because the planets' positions change relative to those of the stars. The eight (formerly nine) recognized planets that orbit the Sun are, in order of increasing distance, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,Uranus, and Neptune. The first four are called terrestrial planets and the next four giant, or Jovian, planets.


  • Sir,—The Planet [Neptune] whose position you marked out actually exists. On the day on which your letter reached me, I found a star of the eighth magnitude, which was not recorded in the excellent map designed by Dr. Bremiker, containing the twenty-first hour of the collection published by the Royal Academy of Berlin. The observation of the succeeding day showed it to be the Planet of which we were in quest.
  • It is notorious that the same discovery is frequently made simultaneously and quite independently, by different persons. Thus, to speak of only a few cases in late years, the discoveries of photography, of electric telegraphy, and of the planet Neptune through theoretical calculations, have all their rival claimants. It would seem, that discoveries are usually made when the time is ripe for them—that is to say, when the ideas from which they naturally flow are fermenting in the minds of many men.
  • The remote Neptune is almost certainly as much the twin of Uranus in its general features as Saturn is of Jupiter.
    • In: "The Living Age ..., Volume 169", p. 462
  • The fact [is] that astronomers were able to predict the existence and location of Neptune, based on irregularities in the orbit of Uranus... Analysis of the orbital data of Uranus led to the conclusion that although the gravitational pull from Neptune accounted for 98% of the variation from the Uranus’s expected orbit, there were still unexplained irregularities.




Neptune's atmosphere is revealed by Voyager 2 false-color images to contain clouds of methane ice above a lower deck of hydrogen sulfide or ammonia ices, and to be dominated by an anticyclonic storm system designated the 'Great Dark Spot'; this bears both similarities and differences to the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.... - B. A Smith, et al.,
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