Interesting Neptune facts
The discovery and even the naming of the planet Neptune have a very
interesting story behind it. These are probably the Neptune facts that you weren't
aware of before.
Technically speaking, the
very first one who became aware
of the planet Neptune's existence
is the famed ancient astronomer
Galileo. But the discovery of
Neptune isn't credited to him
because he misrepresented it in his
findings; instead of a planet he
labeled Neptune as being a star.
The actual discovery of
Neptune wasn't done in the usual
means that you might be thinking
of; with the use of star charts and a telescope. The discovery of Neptune was
actually "predicted" using mathematical formulas. In 1846, a French
mathematician named Urbain Le Verriere calculated that in a specific area in outer
space, a new planet is highly likely to be discovered. So he got the services of
Johann Gottfried Galle of the Berlin Observatory to search in the area he pointed
to, and sure enough there was the planet Neptune.
After the discovery of the new planet there was quite a stir as to what name
this new planet should be. Numerous names began flooding the astronomical
society, names like Janus, Oceanus, and others. Le Verriere was actually the one
that first suggested that this new planet be named Neptune, but he changed his
mind after a couple of months and tried to name the planet after himself.
Obviously this came against a lot of contention in the scientific community, after
much debate it was decided upon that from here on in the new planet will be
named Neptune, after the Roman god of the sea, it also fits in well with the names
of the other planets in the solar system, all of which, except for Earth, is named
from ancient Roman deities.
Here are some more interesting Neptune facts that you should know:
1. Because Pluto has been relegated into being just a planetoid and not
actually a planet, Neptune has become the planet that is farthest from the sun.
2. Ever since it was discovered in the year 1846, Neptune has yet to
complete one full orbit around the sun. Because of its extremely large solar orbit,
it takes about 167 earth years before one year in Neptune is said to pass.
3. Even though the year in Neptune is longer, the days are extremely shorter
than they are here on earth. For Neptune to fully rotate about its axis, it only takes
about 16 hours, as compared to the 24 hours it takes for Earth.
4. Neptune has almost the same gravitational pull as Earth. You will only
weigh about 17 percent more on Neptune than you would here on Earth, which is
really a negligible amount if you think about it.
5. Neptune is the coldest planet in the solar system. This record was once
held by Pluto, but because it's not a planet anymore; the distinction of coldest
planet now goes to Neptune. How cold is it on Neptune? It's so cold that it would
make the South Pole look like the Caribbean in comparison.
These are just some of the fun Neptune facts that you might not have known
until now. If you want to learn more about Neptune and the other planets as well
you can visit one of the numerous websites online that are about the solar system.
Planet Neptune - What Makes This Planet Interesting?
There are a lot of things that are interesting about the eight planets in our
solar system, Neptune. Here are some of them:
Fact No. 1 - Neptune is now the farthest planet in the solar system
You may have first thought that the
planet Pluto is farthest planet, that was before
Pluto was stripped off of its planet status and
is now considered as a planetoid. This
decision made the planet Neptune the farthest
planet from the sun by default.
And being the farthest planet, Neptune
also got the title of coldest planet. With
temperatures reaching -2000 degrees Celsius,
the planet Neptune makes the South Pole a great summer vacation spot.
Fact No. 2 - Galileo was the first to spot Neptune
Famous ancient astronomer and father of modern astronomy Galileo Galilee
was I fact the first person to ever discover the planet Neptune. But why is it that
the discovery isn't credited to Galileo? Well what happened was that Galileo did
spot planet Neptune as he was mapping the heavens, but he thought that it was
only a star and so labeled it as such in his charts.
Due to his blunder at misrepresenting the planet Neptune, Galileo was never
recognized as the true discoverer of the planet.
Fact No. 3 - The planet Neptune has the longest orbit among all the planets
Even before Pluto was declared as just a planetoid, Neptune already had the
biggest orbit in the solar system, because there are certain areas along its path
around the sun where Neptune's orbit was bigger than that of Pluto's.
In fact, the orbit of Neptune is so large that since its discovery in 1846,
Neptune still has not finished one complete orbit around the sun. It takes
approximately 165 years here on earth before a single year in Neptune shall pass.
Fact No. 4 - Neptune was discovered using math
You must have thought that astronomy is done using high-powered
telescopes and star charts, but math also plays a critical role in astronomy. It was
French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier who first came up with the mathematical
findings that there will be a new planet in the area in space that Neptune now
occupies. After he has made this conclusion he asked for the help of astronomer
John Gottfried Galle, Galle, using a high powered telescope scanned the area in
the sky where Le Verrier's computations pointed to, and sure enough the planet
Neptune was there.
The even more astounding fact about Neptune's discovery is that the
computations of Le Verrier regarding the location of Neptune are only off by one
Fact No. 5 - Neptune has its own "Great spot"
You have probably heard about Jupiters great spot; a violent storm that has
been occurring on Jupiter's surface, but did you know that Neptune also has its
own great spot. Neptune's great spot is not as big as that of Jupiter's but it is still
visible. There was a time when the spot on Neptune was not visible to
astronomers, so they thought that the storm has dissipated, but it resurfaced again
later, but this time on the other side of the planet.
These are just some of the facts that make the planet Neptune very
Strange Behavior from Jupiter and Neptune
If you're an astronomy buff then you'd be highly interested in what's going
on in the skies right now. Astronomers have found out that the planets Jupiter and
Neptune are showing strange behavior that has not happened in a couple of
It is quite typical for the planets Jupiter
and Neptune to pair off every 12 or 13
years, but for them to conjunct each other
three times happen very rarely. For a triple
conjunction to happen, the two planets must
arrive at the point in space that is opposite
the sun, called the opposition, at almost
exactly the same time. This year, Jupiter
will come at opposition on August 14, while
Neptune will get there by August 17, and for
several months before and after, these two planets will move in a reverse motion to
the surrounding stars, this movement is what's called "retrograde motion". During
the retrograde motion the planets Jupiter and Neptune will pass each other in
opposition not just one time, but about three times total. The last time this
phenomenon of triple conjunction happened was in 1971, then next time is
estimated to happen in between 2047 and 48.
If you're a novice astronomy buff who has still not seen the farthest planet in
the solar system, this is your chance to do so. Being the farthest planet from the
sun (Pluto was stripped off of its planet status and just relegated into a planetoid in
2006), Neptune is probably the hardest planet to spot because it is not really all
that visible, you can only see a faint glimmer of it in a completely dark night.
Because of these pairings it will be much easier to spot where the planet
Neptune is. By using Jupiter as your guide, train your binoculars, telescope or any
kind of viewing apparatus you have on it, you'll be able to see a faint, rather bluish
"star" right above it, that "star" is actually the planet Neptune. Keep your eyes
peeled because spotting it can be rather difficult because Neptune won't be as
bright as Jupiter, in fact it will only be about 1/13,000th the brightness of Jupiter,
so you'll really need to have a strong telescope to even see a speck of it.
This strange behavior of Jupiter
and Neptune also carries a couple of
different meanings in astrology as well.
It is said that during this triple
conjunction period there is a huge
chance for success in a couple of
different professional careers like legal
works, travel, journalism, philosophy,
and others. So if you are in those fields
of work then you are now extremely
And then there are others who say that the conjunction of Jupiter and
Neptune also brings bad luck, it is said that the last time they were in conjunction
was the day that the launch of the space shuttle Columbia ended in tragedy. But
the one that is going to happen soon is a triple conjunction, so the outcome may
still be up in the air.
Whatever reason you have for observing this strange behavior of Jupiter and
Neptune, be it for scientific curiosity or for astrological purposes, this
phenomenon only happens once every couple of decades so missing it as it
happens will be a great loss for you.
- Interesting Neptune facts
- Planet Neptune What Makes This Planet Interesting?
- Strange Behavior from Jupiter and Neptune