Neptune is slightly smaller than Uranus, but still a giant in relation to Earth. It orbits the sun at a distance of four and a half billion kilometres! For one orbit, i.e. one Neptune year, it takes an incredible 165 Earth years! That is much longer than a human life.
So it moves very slowly across our sky and often stays in the same constellation for years. Only in 2011 will it be found again in the place in the sky where it was discovered in 1846.
Neptune, like the other gas planets, consists mainly of hydrogen and helium and some methane. Methane gives it its pretty blue color. Inside it has a solid iron core the size of the Earth.
Because of the large distance to the sun it doesn’t get much of its warming rays. Neptune is one of the coldest places in the solar system. Its outside temperature is about -200° Celsius!
#neptun #discoveringspace #nasa
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