Neptune: A Brief Overview


Neptune is the eighth and farthest-known planet from the Sun. Neptune is the 4th largest planet by diameter in the Solar System, is the third-most-massive planet, and is the densest giant planet. The planet is 17 times the mass of Earth, slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus. Neptune is denser and physically smaller than Uranus because its greater mass causes more gravitational compression of its atmosphere.

Size15,299 miles
Distance To The Sun2.793 billion miles, which is 30 AU
Length of A Day16 hours
Length Of A Year165 Earth days
Temperature (Lows and Highs)Lows: -360°F
Highs: -325°F
Number Of Moons14
Number Of Rings9
Missions To The Planet1 – Voyager 2
AtmosphereMade Up Of hydrogen, helium, and methane
Size Compared To Earth4x larger than Earth
Discoverer And Discovery DateUnknown By Ancients. Discovered On September 23rd, 1846 By Johann Gottfried Galle, Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, and John Couch Adams all working independently.


There are 14 moons of Neptune. Triton is the largest Neptunian moon, comprising more than 99.5% of the mass in orbit around Neptune, and it is the only one massive enough to be spheroidal. Triton was discovered by William Lassell, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself. Unlike all other large planetary moons in the Solar System, Triton has a retrograde orbit, indicating that it was captured rather than forming in place; it was probably once a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt. Voyager 2 discovered 6 of the 14 moons on its visit. We will discuss some of these moons in more depth in the article on the moon.

Fun Facts:
Neptune is about four times wider than Earth. If Earth were a large apple, Neptune would be the size of a basketball.
The planet is the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than through regular observations of the sky

Check out the Planetary Bodies Category for previous and upcoming articles on the solar system planets.

Sources And Further Information

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