Are you searching for random facts and trivia about the planet Neptune? Are you working on a science report about Neptune? Are you a home school parent writing a lesson plan about the solar system? Just curious about the planet Neptune? Here are a few interesting facts about Neptune.
Neptune was named after the ancient Roman god of the sea.
The Ancient Romans, many thousands of years ago, named the five planets they were able to view in the sky – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They named their planets after their mythological gods. However, Neptune was not discovered until 1846. Some astronomers (scientists who study space) decided to call the planet Neptune, since all of the other planets had the names of Roman gods. Neptune was the fictitious god of the sea.
You cannot see Neptune from Earth without a telescope.
Unlike some of the other planets, Neptune cannot be seen with the naked eye. You must have a telescope to view it.
It would take a rocket or spacecraft approximately ten years to travel to Neptune.
Based on the speed of current spacecraft, it would take around ten years for it to get to Neptune.
Neptune is approximately 3 Billion miles from the sun.
Neptune is the farthest planet from the sun. It is approximately three billion miles from the sun. Uranus is the next closest planet to Neptune. Neptune is approximately 2.7 billion miles from the Earth.
Neptune consists of mostly liquid and gas.
The planet is referred to sometimes as a “gas giant.” That means it is made mostly of liquid and gas. Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter are the other planets of the solar system that are gas giants. The major gases on Neptune are helium and hydrogen. However, three percent of the atmosphere consists of methane, which gives it its blue color. It does have a core which is composed of mostly rock and metal.
Neptune travels around the sun in 164.79 Earth years.
Like all planets, Neptune orbits (which mean moves around) the sun. It takes Neptune 164.79 years to orbit around the sun. Neptune also spins around on invisible axis as other planets do. Neptune spins around faster than Earth, and rotates in about 16 Earth hours.
Neptune is a very cold planet.
Like all of the planets that are far away from the sun, Neptune is very cold. Temperatures can drop as low as -353 degrees Fahrenheit.
Neptune has lots of very strong winds and storms.
Neptune has winds that are about ten times stronger than Hurricanes on Earth. It is a very windy planet.
Neptune has a total of 13 known moons.
Another fact about Neptune is that it has at least 13 moons. They all consist of rock and ice. Five of those moons are very small and shaped irregularly.
Neptune has at least six rings.
Neptune has rings that astronomers believe consist of dark dust. They are very difficult to see, even using a very powerful telescope. Some scientists believe there may be gaps in the rings.
Voyager 2 flew close to Neptune in 1989.
Scientists learned a lot about the planet Neptune through a space probe called Voyager 2. Twelve years after it left earth, it flew by Neptune.
A space probe might launch in 2016-2018 and arrive at Neptune at about 2035.
Scientists are hoping to launch a space probe to Neptune, that might arrive at Neptune in about 2035. You can read more about it here.
These are just a few fun facts about Neptune. Scientists are still learning more about Neptune. It’s even possible that there might be microscopic life on Triton (one of its moons) underneath it’s ice.
Curious about Mars? Read “10 Mars Facts for Kids.” You might also read “Facts for Kids About the Planet Mercury.” Happy Learning!
11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System by David A Agular
Neptune by Elaine Landau
Our Solar System by Seymour Simon