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  • The farthest planet from the sun, Neptune takes over 160 years to orbit the sun.

  • Neptune has the second-strongest gravity of any planet in the solar system. It is only outranked by Jupiter.

  • Like Uranus, Neptune is made of a mix of hydrogen, helium and methane.

  • Neptune's winds are the fastest in the solar system, reaching up to 1,340 miles per hour.

  • One of Neptune's most noteworthy features was its Great Dark Spot, a massive and fierce storm in the planet's southern hemisphere.

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    The Great Dark Spot photographed by Voyager 2 in 1989. When Hubble looked at this same spot in 1995, the spot had already disappeared.
  • Neptune has a very faint ring system made of ice and dust particles.

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    Neptune's rings.
  • Experiments conducted on diamonds lead researchers to theorize that Uranus and Neptune may contain oceans of liquid diamond that form in the immense heat and pressure found deep within the planets. The planets' cores are made of roughly 10% carbon.

  • Moons

    Neptune has 14 moons, the most well-known and largest of which is Triton.

    Color mosaic of Triton's strange surface taken by Voyager 2. The probe was only able to see one side of the moon.
  • Triton has a very diverse, icy landscape consisting of craters, geysers and so-called 'cantaloupe terrain'.

  • Triton is the coldest place in the solar system, with a recorded low of just 38 degrees above absolute zero.

  • Triton is quite geologically active. Cryovolcanoes spew out ammonia and nitrogen gas from the surface. The plumes extend up to 5 miles above the surface. And thanks to this activity constantly renewing the surface, Triton has relatively few impact craters.

  • Triton orbits Neptune opposite the planet's rotation.

  • In about 3.5 billion years, Triton is predicted to move so close to Neptune that the planet's massive gravity breaks it apart.


By Aaron Feigenbaum