57 Interesting Facts About Neptune

Last updated on January 15th, 2024

44. Neptune’s atmosphere contains clouds of pink and white composed of methane ice crystals. The coloration is due to the absorption of red light by methane.

45. Like Uranus, Neptune has a significant amount of its atmosphere escaping into space. This atmospheric loss is due to a combination of factors, including solar wind and the planet’s weak gravity.

46. Above Neptune’s main cloud deck, scientists have identified high-altitude haze layers. These layers play a role in the planet’s overall atmospheric dynamics and light-scattering properties.

47. Neptune radiates more than twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun. The source of this excess heat is not fully understood but is thought to be generated by the slow gravitational contraction of the planet over time.

48. Deep within Neptune, extreme pressures may cause helium to condense into droplets, forming a “helium rain.” This process is believed to contribute to the planet’s internal heat.

49. Thunderstorms on Neptune might produce diamond hailstones. The intense pressure in the atmosphere could compress methane and other gasses into solid diamonds, which could then fall like hail.

Ultraviolet auroras

50. Like other giant planets, Neptune exhibits ultraviolet auroras near its magnetic poles. These auroras are produced when charged particles in the solar wind interact with the planet’s magnetic field.

A rocky core

51. The interior of Neptune is believed to consist of a rocky core surrounded by a thick layer of icy and metallic substances, enveloped by an atmosphere of hydrogen, helium, and traces of methane.

52. The irregular moons of Neptune are divided into two groups: prograde (orbiting in the same direction as the planet’s rotation) and retrograde (orbiting in the opposite direction).

The Neptunian desert

53. The Neptunian Desert is a term used in astronomy to describe a region close to a star where very few or no Neptune-like planets are found. This phenomenon contrasts with the common occurrence of smaller planets like the Earth and larger planets like Jupiter in such regions.

Neptune Trojans

54. In astronomy, a “Neptune Trojans” refers to a group of trans-Neptunian objects that share the planet’s orbit but are not in direct conjunction with it.

Dimly lit!

55. Neptune receives only about 0.001% of the sunlight that reaches the Earth, making it an extremely dimly lit world.

Planet “Nine”

56. Now a team of scientists lead by astronomer Mike Brown have announced in 2016 that they have some evidence of the existence of another planet in the solar system which they have nicknamed “planet Nine”. This planet is supposed to have 10 times the mass of the Earth and an orbit which is 20 times farther than the sun on average than Neptune.

57. Several countries have issued postage stamps commemorating the discovery of Neptune. These stamps often feature portraits of Le Verrier, Galle, and the coordinates of Neptune’s discovery.

Neptune – Quick facts

Date of Discovery23 September 1846
Discovered byUrbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams, Johann Galle
Orbit size around Sun4,498,396,441 km
Mean Orbit Velocity19,566 km/h
Equatorial inclination28.3 degrees
Equatorial Circumference154,704.6 km
Volume62,525,703,987,421 cubic kilometer
Mass102,410,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
Density1.638 gram per centimeter cube
Surface Area7,618,272,763 kilometer square
Surface Gravity11.15 meter per second square
Escape Velocity84,816 kilometer per hour
Effective Temperature-214 °C
Atmospheric ConstituentsHydrogen, Helium, Methane
Known Moons14
Known Rings6
Largest moonTriton
Names of moonsTriton, Proteus, Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Nereid, Sao, Halimede, Neso, Psmathe, Laomedeia, S/2004 N 1
Missions to NeptuneJust one: Voyager 2 in 1989.
Characteristic colorBlue