By: Abi Anderson

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Neptune's Rings

The rings of Neptune were speculated throughout history but were never proved to be there since they were so hard to see against the dark space. Then in 1989 the Voyager 2 probe that passed Neptune confirmed their existence. They were named after scientists that made important discoveries to Neptune, Galle, Le Verrier, Lassell, Arago, and Adams. Scientists believe that they were created when one of Neptune's moons were destroyed because they consist of ice particles and dust grains.

Crunching the Numbers

  • Neptune is 2.8 billion miles away from the sun, this is about 30 times farther away than the Earth.
  • Neptune takes 165 Earth years to orbit around the sun, this is because the orbit length is 2,795,173,960 miles.
  • During its orbit Neptune travels at a speed of 12,158 mph.
  • Neptune takes about 16 Earth hours to rotate around its axis.
  • Neptune radiates twice the energy that it gets from the sun.

Neptune's moons

Neptune has a total of 13 confirmed moons, one that was recently discovered is awaiting confirmation. The names of the currents moons are Triton, Despina, Galatea, Halimede, Laomedeia, Larissa, Naiad, Nereid, Neso, Proteus, Psamathe, Sao, and Thalassa. Scientists say that because it is so hard to see Neptune, there almost definitely more moons orbiting it. Neptune's first discovered moon called Triton is the coldest item in our Solar System. Someday Triton will crash into Neptune, scientists can tell because as it orbits, it gradually gets closer to the ice giant.

Finding Neptune

Neptune's atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, helium, and Methane. The Methane is what gives the planet its blue color, which is what you have to keep your eye out for if you are looking for Neptune. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, but it can be seen with binoculars if you know exactly where to look.