Top 5 Amazing Facts About Neptune

1. Neptune Appears Blue

With its atmosphere of helium and hydrogen, with some methane mixed in for good measure, Neptune appears a lovely shade of blue because methane absorbs red light. One of the reasons Neptune was named after the Roman God of the sea by scientists at the Berlin observatory was because of its blue appearance. The planet was found by following Le Verrier’s calculations that it would be in the general area, but seen without a large telescope for the first time in 1846.

2. Neptune Has 14 Moons

Neptune’s most interesting moon is named Triton, likely captured by gravitational pull of the planet. Triton may be the solar system’s coldest world, and it continually spews dust particles and nitrogen ice from below the surface of the moon. At -353 degrees Fahrenheit average surface temperature, Neptune’s chilly exterior has one of the largest gravitational pulls in the solar system. Triton was likely captured as a cast-off from another world and tugged into line with Neptune. Triton is also the only moon of Pluto that is regularly shaped, and has a retrograde orbit–meaning it circles Pluto backwards. Pluto’s smallest moon is only 11 miles wide.

3. Neptune Has an Orbit Equal to 164.8 Earth Years

The most distant star in our solar system is the eighth planet from the sun, but may have formed closer to the sun and migrated over the hundreds of millions of years between the Big Bang and today. Neptune’s days are only slightly different from those on Earth, with Neptune spinning completely on its axis every 19 hours as opposed to Earth’s 24 hour rotation period.

4. Neptune Has the Second Largest Gravity of Any Planet

5. If You Weighed 100 Lbs on Earth, You Would Weigh 114 on Neptune

While mass remains constant across the universe, your weight can change depending on Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, which is different depending on which planet you’re currently occupying. The magnetic field is roughly 27 times more powerful than Earth, with an overall composition of 70 percent ice–all contributing to the parity with Earth’s gravity even though it is billions of miles away.