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Table of Contents
Neptune is one of the eight planets around the Sun and the most distant planet in the solar system. It is around 4.5 billion kilometers away from the Sun. It is also the fourth largest planet by its diameter.
See the fact file below for more information on the Neptune or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Neptune worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Neptune got its name from the god of the sea in Roman mythology. The Greek name of Neptune is Poseidon.
- Its astronomical symbol looks like Neptune’s trident.
- Galileo Galilei first observed Neptune as a star in 1613.
- Two centuries later, on September 23, 1846, Neptune was discovered by Johann Galle using a telescope.
- Neptune’s position in the solar system was determined by mathematical predictions made by John Couch Adams and Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier before it was observed by the naked eye.
- It was discovered to be the most distant planet from the Sun until Pluto was discovered in 1930.
- There were times when Pluto orbited further to the Sun than Neptune, so Pluto was considered the farthest.
- From 1979 to 1999, when Pluto was closer to the Sun, Neptune once again was the farthest planet.
- It is now officially the most distant planet after Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006.
- Neptune is 1.024 × 1026 kg which is 17 times Earth’s mass.
- Neptune’s gravity is 17% stronger than the Earth’s.
- Neptune completes one orbit around the Sun every 164.8 earth years.
- Neptune is not a solid world, so it spins on its axis quickly. One rotation takes 18 hours.
- Neptune is a cold planet with wild winds, icy clouds, and massive storms happening in its atmosphere.
- Neptune is generally a dark planet, but bright clouds that look like cirrus clouds come and go quickly.
- Neptune’s atmosphere is divided by the tropopause into the lower troposphere and the stratosphere.
- In the troposphere, the temperature decreases as altitude decreases.
- In the stratosphere, temperature increases as altitude increases.
- Neptune is an ice giant along with Uranus.
- Ice giants are planets containing oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur.
- Neptune is smaller than Uranus in terms of diameter, but it has a greater mass.
- Unlike Uranus, Neptune has an active and vibrant climate.
- The weather patterns in Neptune are very active, with storms stirring in its upper atmosphere.
- The planet gets its vibrant blue color from the presence of methane in its atmosphere.
- Neptune is composed of 1% methane, 25% helium, and 74% hydrogen.
- Its interior is mainly composed of rock material and gases such as ammonia, methane, and water.
The Great Dark Spot
- The Great Dark Spot is one of the largest storms to be recorded. It occurred in the southern hemisphere of Neptune in 1989 and went on for five years.
- The winds of the Great Dark Spot blew at up to 1,500 miles per hour, which is the most powerful system of winds ever recorded.
- The Great Dark Spot was observed by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
- The Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have flown close enough to Neptune to photograph it.
- We now have access to close-up images of Neptune thanks to the Voyager 2.
- The planet was also observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope.
- In 1994, the Hubble Telescope captured data showing that the Great Dark Spot had disappeared, but another dark spot had been found in the planet’s northern hemisphere.
- There are 14 moons surrounding Neptune.
- Triton is its largest and most known moon.
- It is the seventh largest moon in the solar system.
- Triton was discovered shortly after Neptune was, by William Lassell in 1846.
- Triton is a very cold body that expels nitrogen ice and dust particles in large quantities rapidly from below its surface.
- It stays in Neptune’s orbit because of the gravitational pull of the planet.
- Triton is the only large moon in the universe to orbit in a retrograde motion (moving in the opposite direction to its central object.)
- Neptune has reddish rings.
- Its partial rings are called “arcs.”
- The five primary rings are the Le Verrier ring, the Adams ring, the Galle ring, the Arago ring, and the Lassell ring.
- The rings are a mix of ice and dust particles covered with a carbon-based coating that makes it appear reddish.
- In 1968, the first ring was identified by Edward Guinan and his team.
- The outermost ring is known as Adams.
- Adams has five arcs named Courage, Liberté, Egalité 1, Egalité 2, and Fraternité.
- In 2005, observations of these rings from Earth led to the conclusion that they’re unstable.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Neptune across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Neptune worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Neptune which is one of the eight planets around the Sun and the most distant planet in the solar system. It is around 4.5 billion kilometers away from the Sun. It is also the fourth largest planet by its diameter.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Neptune Facts
- Discovered Planet
- Neptune or Not
- Neptune Word Search
- Name The Rings
- The Great Dark Spot
- Triton or False
- Planet Comparison
- Neptune the God
- Voyager 2 and Hubble Snapshots
- Neptune 3D Model
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Link will appear as Neptune Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 12, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.