Welcome to Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy



· Home
· AvantGo
· Content
· Downloads
· Encyclopedia
· Feedback
· Forums
· Journal
· Members List
· Private Messages
· Recommend Us
· Reviews
· Search
· Statistics
· Stories Archive
· Submit News
· Surveys
· Top 10
· Topics
· Web Links
· Your Account

  Who's Online

There are currently, 7 guest(s) and 0 member(s) that are online.

You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here




Select Interface Language:


  Random Headlines

Through Telescope
[ Through Telescope ]

·Astronomy: Universe - OUR VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE
·Astronomy: Through Telescope - ZOOMING IN
·Astronomy: Through Telescope - Moon-SHOOTING THE MOON
·Astronomy: Through Telescope - DEEP-SKY OBJECTS
·Astronomy: Through Telescope

  Neptune: Astronomy: Neptune - Voyage-VOYAGING TO NEPTUNE
Posted on Saturday, December 04 @ 16:40:41 CST by astronomy


Because of the planet's distance from Earth, information about Neptune accumulated slowly. William Lassell saw Triton, the largest moon, within a month of the planet's discovery, but the second moon, Nereid, was discovered only in 1949, by Gerard Kuiper. In the 1970s and 1980s, astronomers received strong hints of a Neptune ring system, but could not make sense of the data.

In August 1989, Voyager 2 flew by the planet, and the modern era for Neptune began. Voyager found a big, blue ball, with many markings and cloud bands—a pleasant change from the bland Uranus the l|pk spacecraft had visited three years earlier. Voyager's instruments collected data about Neptune's composition. There may be a small rocky core, but the bulk of the planet is probably a deep ocean of water. This then merges into an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Methane in the top of the atmosphere gives the planet its pronounced blue color. The interior bubbles up more than twice as much heat as the surface receives from the Sun.

Neptune spins on its axis every 16 hours 7 minutes. In its equatorial zone, winds scream westward at 900 miles (1,500 km) per hour, powering huge storm systems.

Voyager froze Neptune in time with a snapshot, but the Hubble Space Telescope lias since tracked its changing features. The spacecraft saw several storms, notably the Great Dark Spot (the size of Earth), which drifted toward the equator and vanished sometime after the flyby. Other noted markings, such as the Scooter, the second Dark Spot, and various white streaks, have also disappeared or changed greatly, while new features have emerged. A longer view is needed to fully understand the planet, so observations continue.




Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.

  Related Links

· More about Neptune
· News by astronomy

Most read story about Neptune:
Astronomy: Neptune


  Article Rating

Average Score: 0
Votes: 0

Please take a second and vote for this article:

Very Good



 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

 Send to a Friend Send to a Friend


Associated Topics


"Login" | Login/Create an Account | 0 comments
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please register

  Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2004 by Astronomy & Telescope Astronomy
You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt