The eighth planet of our solar system is Neptune and it carries some strange facts you should learn. Interestingly it is the first planet which was mathematically predicted and then discovered with the help of telescope on 23rd September 1846. Because Uranus has a strange and slow orbit, Alexis Bouvard (a French astronomer) suggested that it might be because of another planet’s gravity. Then, it was finally spotted by Johann Galle with a telescope and named Neptune. Learn more such Neptune facts for kids below.
Top 10 Neptune facts for kids
Who is Neptune named after?
Neptune is named after the Roman God of Sea.
How many Moons does Neptune have?
Neptune has a total of 14 Moons. William Lassell discovered the largest moon of Neptune, Triton on 10th October 1846. Triton is the 7th largest in our solar system with a diameter of 2710 and contains nitrogen ice and dust.
With a majority of Hydrogen and Helium, Neptune has an atmospheric composition similar to that of other outer space planets. It also contains a little of methane. The reasons Neptune appears blue is because of methane that absorbs red light.
Neptune is the windiest planet in the solar system
Winds at Neptune could blow at more than 2000 km per hour which is the fastest ever recorded. Interestingly, Uranus also gets its share of speedy winds at 900 km per hour. These are the two planets popular for their supersonic wind speeds. Interestingly, since winds flow against the rotational direction of Neptune and are blazing fast at the same time, they can cover the entire planet in just 16-18 hours at those speeds in the upper atmosphere.
Neptune also got its own set of faint rings
The planet is known to have 6 rings that are not clearly visible.
Probes to Neptune
As of now, the only probe that visited Neptune is Voyager 2 in 1989. This is the same probe that visited Saturn and continued for further studies of Uranus and Neptune. It made the closest approach to any planet in the outer space, making a flyby at a distance of 46=950 km from Neptune. Voyager 2 provided insights into Neptune’s atmosphere including Magnetosphere and its 14 moons.
A gas giant
Planets from Mercury to Mars have a rocky surface while those present in the outer solar system, Jupiter to Neptune do not have a solid surface and contain just gases. One of the surprising Neptune facts for kids who thought we would travel there in future for colonization.
How big is Neptune?
Neptune is 17 times the mass of the earth. Moreover, its average radius is 24622 km compared to the 6371 km radius of the earth. Keep in though, due to the rotation of any planet, the radius measured from the equator is always a couple hundred kilometers more than the radius measures from its poles. This makes a planet slightly fatty from the equator. Hence, I wrote the average radii of the two planets.
Pluto sometimes comes closer to the Sun than Neptune
Since Pluto has an elliptical orbit, there are instances when it can be closer to the sun than Neptune can during their revolution.
The coldest planet in Solar System
With the temperature in the upper atmosphere reaching as low as -218 degrees, it is the coldest planet in the entire solar system. Despite Pluto being the farthest planet from the Sun, Neptune takes the cold crown because of its methane and ammonia content in the atmosphere. One of the shocking Neptune facts for kids right?
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