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Transcript of Neptune
Neptune is the only Planet that was discovered by through predictions
Galileo discovered Neptune as a fixed star on December 12, 1612
In 1845, several astronomers noted that Uranus didn't travel as expected
Urbain Joseph Le Verrier proposed the position and mass of an unknown celestial object
Sent predictions to Johann Gottfried who found Neptune in the sky in 1846
Rings were discovered in 1989 by the Voyager 2 probe
Neptune has 6 rings: Galle, Le Verrier, Lassell, Arago, Galatea & Adams
Rings are composed of 20%-70% dust with the rest of the material being small rocks
Astronomers believe that the rings were most likely formed as a result of the destruction of one of Neptune's moons
Climate and Atmosphere
Is the eighth, and final planet in our solar system
Orbits at an average distance of 30.1 AU
Has a diameter of about 4 Earth sizes
Has a mass of roughly 17 Earths
Densest gas giant
165 Earth years to orbit once
Day cycle that takes 16 Earth hours
Surface gravity of 11.15 Nm
Escape velocity of 33.5 km/s (84600 km/h) approx. 2.1 times that of Earth's
By: Rebecca Fortenbacher, Ben Dolman, Caleb Innes, Jesse Klok, Lindsay Newson and Grant Henderson
The Moons of Neptune
There exist 14 moons, to our knowledge, which orbit Neptune
Of these, only one is large enough to be spheroidal in shape;
. Triton was discovered on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell, only days after Neptune.
Triton is the only known large moon in our solar system to have retrograde motion.
Because of this motion, it is suggested that the moon was captured and did not form in place.
Triton is under the effect of tidal acceleration, a force that is a result of the gravity between the two bodies, as such the moon is essentially spiraling towards Neptune.
This is further reinforced by the fact that Triton is similar in composition to Pluto
'Triton has a surface of mostly frozen nitrogen, a mostly water ice crust, an icy mantle and a substantial core of rock and metal. The core makes up two-thirds of its total mass. It is composed of approximately 15–35% water ice.'
Triton's mass makes up 99.5 % of the mass within Neptune's orbit.
Triton's surface is geologically active, meaning both cryovolcanic and tectonic activity is still an occurrence.
Neptune's moons are, suitably, named after the Greek Sea Gods, most notable of these, aside from Triton, are; Nereid and Proteus.
Nereid has one of the most eccentric orbits of any satellite in the solar system. It's numerical value is .7507 in contrast to our moon's, which is 0.055.
Some photometric observations of Nereid have detected large variations of it brightness, which can happen over years and months, but sometimes even over a few days.
Proteus is probably not an original body that formed with Neptune.
Interestingly, it is notable for being as large as a body of its density can be without being pulled into a spherical shape by its own gravity.
It is Neptune's second largest moon, though it is only .25% the total mass of Triton.
The Galle Ring is named after Johann Gottfried Galle and is nearest to Neptune at a distance of 41,000–43,000 km
The Le Verrier Ring is very narrow, about 113 km wide
The Lassell Ring lies between 53,200- 57,200 km away from Neptune
This is the widest ring as it is 4000 km wide
The Arago Ring is 57,200 km from Neptune and is 100 km wide
The outermost ring, Adams, is the most famous ring because of its arcs.
It is 35 km wide and consists of 5 prominent arcs: Courage, Liberté, Equalité 1, Equalité 2, & Fraternité
Observations appear to show that Neptune's rings are more unstable than previously thought. Images taken in 2005 show considerable amount of decay, and it seems that the Liberty arc might disappear in as little as one century!
Life on Triton ??
"These days though, scientists think icy moons like Europa and Enceladus are more likely to harbor living creatures than the Red Planet."
These icy moons may in fact have vast oceans beneath their outermost layer.
unfortunately, though somewhat similar to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, it is improbable that life exists within Triton.
Triton's temperature is apprx. 38K, which is almost -300c. There is virtually no atmosphere, meaning life is unlikely as the climate is too harsh. Life would be dependent on the heating/existence of the sub-surface oceans.
The great dark spot
Atmospheric composition by volume:
Molecular hydrogen: 80 percent
Helium: 19 percent
Methane 1.5 percent
Hydrogen Deuteride: 192 parts per million
Ethane: 1.5 parts per million
Uranus's bland surface
Exploration of Neptune
- August 25th, 1989
- Flew by Neptune only 3,000 miles above the north pole
- Studied Neptune's atmosphere, its rings, its magnetosphere and its moons
- Discovered the Great Dark Spot and Triton's geysers
- Discovered 6 new moons orbiting
- Proteus, Nereid and Triton were photographed in detail
- Discovered auroras like on earth, but much more complex
NASA has researched several possible missions to Neptune but as of 2012, but none had been approved
- Neptune has a very deep atmosphere primarily composed of hydrogen and helium.
- The depths of Neptune have winds that reach the speed of around 2000 Km which is the fastest in our solar system.
- Neptune's Atmosphere merges with it's mantle which is a hot dense liquid composed of water, ammonia and methane ice.
- The center of Neptune has a core made out of Iron, nickel and silicates
- It i estimated that the core of has a mass similar to Earth.
1 372 000 km
Heavy cratering implies that the moon is, and has not been geographically active.