Neptune is the eighth and most distant planet from the Sun.
The planet may have formed much closer to the Sun in early solar system history before migrating to its present position.
Neptune has 14 moons, the most interesting one being Titon, a frozen world, probably the coldest in the Solar system.
Neptune is not visible to the naked eye,and therefore was unknown to the ancients. It was first observed by telescope in 1846, its position determined by using mathematical predictions.
Neptune is a gas giant, not a solid body. It spins on its axis very rapidly and takes 18 hours to make one rotation.
Neptune is also known as an ‘ice giant’, like the slightly larger planet Uranus. Although smaller than Uranus, Neptune has a greater mass.
The atmosphere of Neptune is made of hydrogen and helium with some methane. The methane absorbs red light, which makes the planet appear a beautiful blue. High, thin clouds drift in the upper atmosphere.
Neptune has a very active climate with large storms and high winds whirling around the upper atmosphere.Neptune is known for its ‘Great Dark Spot’, a massive storm which raged for about five years, recorded in 1989.
Neptune was flown by in 1989 by spacecraft Voyager 2.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has also studied this planet, as have a number of ground-based telescopes.
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