NeptuneImage: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. 

Target Name: Neptune
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Voyager
Spacecraft: Voyager 2
Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1000 samples x 1000 lines
Produced By: JPL
Producer ID: P34611
Addition Date: 1996-01-29
Primary Data Set: Voyager EDRs 
Original Caption Released with Image:
During August 16 and 17, 1989, the Voyager 2 narrow-angle camera was used to photograph Neptune almost continuously, recording approximately two and one-half rotations of the planet. These images represent the most complete set of full disk Neptune images that the spacecraft will acquire. This picture from the sequence shows two of the four cloud features which have been tracked by the Voyager cameras during the past two months. The large dark oval near the western limb (the left edge) is at a latitude of 22 degrees south and circuits Neptune every 18.3 hours. The bright clouds immediately to the south and east of this oval are seen to substantially change their appearances in periods as short as four hours. The second dark spot, at 54 degrees south latitude near the terminator (lower right edge), circuits Neptune every 16.1 hours. This image has been processed to enhance the visibility of small features, at some sacrifice of color fidelity. The Voyager Mission is conducted by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications.

 

Moons of neptune:
  
1. Triton
2. Nereid
3. Naiad
4. Thalassa
5. Despina
6. Galatea
7. Larissa
8. Proteus
9. Halimede
10. Psamathe
11. Sao
12. Laomedeia
13. Neso 
 
 Neptune: Rings  
   
 Ring Name: 1989 N3R Galle
Distance*: 41,900 km
Width: 15 km
Albedo: Low

Ring Name: 1989 N2R Leverrier
Distance*: 53,200 km
Width: 15 km
Albedo: Low

Ring Name: Lassell
Distance*: 55,400 km
Width: - km
Albedo: Low

Ring Name: Arago
Distance*: 57,600 km
Width: - km
Albedo: Low

Ring Name: 1989 N1R Adams
Distance*: 57,600 km
Width: - km

Ring Name: Liberte ("Leading" Adams arc)
Distance*: 62,930 km
Width: < 50 km
Albedo: Low

Ring Name: Egalite ("Equidistant" Adams arc)
Distance*: 62,900 km
Width: - km

Ring Name: Fraternite ("Following" Adams arc)
Distance*: 62,900 km

Ring Name: Courage (arc)
Distance*: 62,900 km
Width: - km


Evidence for incomplete arcs around Neptune first arose in the mid-1980's, when stellar occultation experiments were found to occasionally show an extra "blink" just before or after the planet occulted the star. Images by Voyager 2 in 1989 settled the issue, when the ring system was found to contain several faint rings, the outermost of which, Adams, contains three prominent arcs now named Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. The existence of arcs is very difficult to understand because the laws of motion would predict that arcs spread out into a uniform ring over very short timescales. The gravitational effects of Galatea, a moon just inward from the ring, are now believed to confine the arcs. Several other rings were detected by the Voyager cameras. In addition to the narrow Adams Ring 63,000 km from the center of Neptune, the Leverrier Ring is at 53,000 km and the broader, fainter Galle Ring is at 42,000 km. A faint outward extension to the Leverrier Ring has been named Lassell; it is bounded at its outer edge by the Arago Ring at 57,000 km.

References:
Murray, C. D., and S. F. Dermott 1999. Solar System Dynamics, Cambridge University Press. USGS Astrogeology: Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature - Ring Nomenclature

Neptune: Facts & Figures  
  
  
Discovered By
  Johann Galle
 
  
Date of Discovery
  1846
 
  
Average Distance from the Sun
  Metric: 4,498,252,900 km
English: 2,795,084,800 miles
Scientific Notation: 4.4982529 x 109 km (30.069 A.U.) 
By Comparison: 30.069 x Earth
 
  
Perihelion (closest)
  Metric: 4,459,630,000 km
English: 2,771,087,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 4.45963 x 109 km (29.811 A.U.) 
By Comparison: 29.820 x Earth
 
  
Aphelion (farthest)
  Metric: 4,536,870,000 km
English: 2,819,080,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 4.53687 x 109 km (30.327 A.U.) 
By Comparison: 30.326 x Earth
 
  
Equatorial Radius
  Metric: 24,764 km
English: 15,388 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.4764 x 105 km
By Comparison: 3.883 x Earth
 
  
Equatorial Circumference
  Metric: 155,597 km
English: 96,683 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.55597 x 105 km
 
  
Volume
  Metric: 62,526,000,000,000 km3
Scientific Notation: 6.2526 x 1013 km3
By Comparison: 57.7 x Earth's
 
  
Mass
  Metric: 102,440,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
Scientific Notation: 1.0244 x 1026 kg
By Comparison: 17.147 x Earth's
 
  
Density
  Metric: 1.76 g/cm3
By Comparison: 0.317 x Earth
 
  
Surface Area
  Metric: 7,640,800,000 km2
English: 2,950,100,000 square miles
Scientific Notation: 7.6408 x 109 km2
By Comparison: 14.980 x Earth
 
  
Equatorial Surface Gravity
  Metric: 10.71 m/s2
English: 35.14 ft/s2
By Comparison: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 110 pounds on Neptune.
 
  
Escape Velocity
  Metric: 85,356 km/h
English: 53,038 mph
Scientific Notation: 23,710 m/s
By Comparison: Escape velocity of Earth is 25,022 mph.
 
  
Sidereal Rotation Period (Length of Day)
  0.67125 Earth days 
16.11 hours 
By Comparison: 0.673 x Earth
 
  
Sidereal Orbit Period (Length of Year)
  164.79 Earth years 
60,190 Earth days 
 
  
Mean Orbit Velocity
  Metric: 19,720 km/h
English: 12,253 mph
Scientific Notation: 5,477.8 m/s
By Comparison: 0.490 x Earth
 
  
Orbital Eccentricity
  .00859
By Comparison: 0.514 x Earth
 
  
Orbital Inclination to Ecliptic
  1.769 degrees
 
  
Equatorial Inclination to Orbit
  29.58 degrees
By Comparison: 1.261 x Earth
 
  
Orbital Circumference
  Metric: 28,142,000,000 km
English: 17,487,000,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.8142 x 1010 km
By Comparison: 30.44 x Earth
 
  
Effective Temperature
  Metric: -214 °C
English: -353 °F
Scientific Notation: 59 K
 
  
Atmospheric Constituents
  Hydrogen, Helium, Methane
Scientific Notation: H2, He, CH4
By Comparison: Earth's atmosphere consists mostly of N2 and O2. 
 
   

 

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